Local firms hired to help Ukrop’s morph into Martin’s

The 25 Ukrop’s stores purchased by Dutch grocer Ahold will be closed for a week for facelifts and a spring cleaning before becoming Martin’s grocery stores.

Martin’s announced Tuesday that each store would be closed for up to a week. Local companies are doing most of the work, the company said.

Renovations will include upgrades to the refrigeration units to accommodate the new beer and wine sections, as well as new lighting, signage and fresh paint. Another big change from the Ukrop’s tradition: When they reopen, they will be open on Sundays. And the cafes will have wireless internet access and new chairs and tables.

Five stores will get self-checkouts for the first time. Some of the other stores will increase the number of self-checkouts.

“Customers will still recognize their store,” said Tracy Pawelski, director of public relations for Martin’s. “We’ve tried to redesign the stores based on the existing layout, so customers won’t have to search all over the store for their favorite product.”

Pawelski said each store represents a multimillion-dollar investment but declined to give a specific figure. During renovations, the stores will be closed on a rotating basis, with no store being closed for more than one week.

A number of Richmond companies will handle most the work for the renovations. Freeman and Morgan, the architecture firm for many of the Ukrop’s stores, has been contracted for all 25 stores, with most of the work focused on the relocation of the refrigeration, as well as new shelving and signage.

“We sought out Ahold because we knew we had a lot to offer in our knowledge of the buildings,” said Jack Shady, president of Freeman and Morgan. “All 25 stores are different. They all have their own little nuances.

Shady says in the past six weeks they’ve made it halfway through the number of stores.

“They should all look like new stores,” said Shady. “Some stores will require more work than others. The Brook Run store will be totally rejuvenated, while the much newer White Oak store won’t require as much work.”

Local general contractor KBS has also been hired. KBS will work on seven of the 25 stores, including the Brook Run store, which because of its age is a more intensive project. Because of a confidentiality agreement, John Gillenwater, vice president of business development at KBS, declined to comment on the nature of their contract, but said they would use local companies for their work.

Northside Electric Company
will handle the wiring work for all the stores under the direction of the Harrisburg, Pa.-based EL Heim Company. NEC President Chuck Guedri said the work will be done in the nighttime at five stores simultaneously. The wiring work began in the last week of April, and Guedri said Martin’s hopes to finish up in mid-April or early May. Guedri said the wiring work at each of the 25 stores will cost about $4,000.

Martin’s has contracted Superior Signs to put a new signage on the familiar structures.

Superior is in charge of removing the old Ukrop’s logos from the stores’ exteriors and replacing them with the Martin’s logo. David Goad, president of Superior, said his company has already started manufacturing the red Martin’s signs and plans to start replacing the Ukrop’s signs in early April. Goad said that the Ukrop’s signs will most likely be discarded, but that if anyone wants the old signs they can have one.

While the stores are under renovation, Pawelski said significant food donations would be made to the Central Virginia Food Bank to prevent waste.

More recent RBS coverage of the sale:

Ukrop’s buyer keeps coffee roaster counting beans

Drew Jackson is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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Bobby BrooksRickyRossScottB Recent comment authors
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Despite some people trying to put the black hat on Martins, this appears to be a good faith effort on their part, and will provide a nice little cash infusion for local contractors. I’m looking forward to the changes, and the wi-fi is a nice addition.


A grocery store that doesn’t sell beer or wine is retarded in the first place. Good riddance, U-craps

Bobby Brooks
Bobby Brooks

I would like some of the ukrops signs I like to collect signe from stores that are leaving please give me a call where to pick out some much thanks Bobby Brooks 737=7011