Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

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storewanderer
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Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by storewanderer » December 3rd, 2017, 9:49 pm

Anyone else ever seen a grocery store remodel done in November and December? The ~12 year old Smiths in my area is being remodeled now; they started it in early November. I've been watching this thing and wondering about the timing. The week before Thanksgiving they had the floral area being "moved" from one spot to another (one side of the front entrance to in front of it) and were building a big wall directly in front of the entryway to facilitate this.

The week after Thanksgiving they promptly started to remove all of the refrigerated/frozen coffin style cases in the back part of the store and seem to be installing new cases that look exactly the same as the old cases. They did reverse positions of one that was frozen and one that was refrigerated but I'm not sure new cases needed to be installed to facilitate that.

This past week it looks like they are starting to do some kind of major construction in the service deli.

I really do not understand messing around with perimeter departments in November/December given these are busy months for a grocery store.

They already did a major reset to the center store in August before Sprouts opened, added way more natural/organic items in and made some drug aisles a lot more narrow.

They are also making some cosmetic changes to the appearance of the front of the store, different paint and some nicer looking bricks. Previously the store was a really generic looking white box.

A Sprouts opened across the street in September and I feel like this whole thing is a "reaction" to that. The Sprouts appears to have taken little to no business from Smiths though. Sprouts looks to be doing okay generally speaking, but has very very low traffic in the evenings or even in the 5 PM period. However with every passing week, Sprouts seems to have less weekend traffic as well. I was in there this afternoon around 1 PM and they only had one checkstand open (about 5 people in line). The produce area is poorly stocked and routinely out of stock on ad items (had no advertised avocados today, was out of Honeycrisp apples for an entire week when those were on ad around Thanksgiving, etc.). I'm not sure where Sprouts customers are coming from but not many of them seem to have come from Smiths.

I have also considered the idea that some customers are now shopping both stores so while Smiths may appear just as busy as before as far as foot traffic goes, maybe some customers are buying less there and have shifted some purchases over to Sprouts. So maybe this remodel is trying to address some of that.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by architect » December 3rd, 2017, 10:21 pm

storewanderer wrote:
December 3rd, 2017, 9:49 pm
Anyone else ever seen a grocery store remodel done in November and December? The ~12 year old Smiths in my area is being remodeled now; they started it in early November. I've been watching this thing and wondering about the timing. The week before Thanksgiving they had the floral area being "moved" from one spot to another (one side of the front entrance to in front of it) and were building a big wall directly in front of the entryway to facilitate this.

The week after Thanksgiving they promptly started to remove all of the refrigerated/frozen coffin style cases in the back part of the store and seem to be installing new cases that look exactly the same as the old cases. They did reverse positions of one that was frozen and one that was refrigerated but I'm not sure new cases needed to be installed to facilitate that.

This past week it looks like they are starting to do some kind of major construction in the service deli.

I really do not understand messing around with perimeter departments in November/December given these are busy months for a grocery store.

They already did a major reset to the center store in August before Sprouts opened, added way more natural/organic items in and made some drug aisles a lot more narrow.

They are also making some cosmetic changes to the appearance of the front of the store, different paint and some nicer looking bricks. Previously the store was a really generic looking white box.

A Sprouts opened across the street in September and I feel like this whole thing is a "reaction" to that. The Sprouts appears to have taken little to no business from Smiths though. Sprouts looks to be doing okay generally speaking, but has very very low traffic in the evenings or even in the 5 PM period. However with every passing week, Sprouts seems to have less weekend traffic as well. I was in there this afternoon around 1 PM and they only had one checkstand open (about 5 people in line). The produce area is poorly stocked and routinely out of stock on ad items (had no advertised avocados today, was out of Honeycrisp apples for an entire week when those were on ad around Thanksgiving, etc.). I'm not sure where Sprouts customers are coming from but not many of them seem to have come from Smiths.

I have also considered the idea that some customers are now shopping both stores so while Smiths may appear just as busy as before as far as foot traffic goes, maybe some customers are buying less there and have shifted some purchases over to Sprouts. So maybe this remodel is trying to address some of that.
I was actually just in a Kroger in Plano (DFW) this weekend which is also being extensively remodeled. The store at Independence/Legacy (a typical early-90's layout) is being converted from Script to Marketplace decor, but this remodel is not just a simple decor swap. ClickList is being added in the old produce area, which has shifted produce out to the middle of the sales floor along with an expanded wine selection. The deli is also being revamped. Approximately 3-4 center-store aisles have been removed to accommodate the relocated produce, with most of the product loss coming from the store's GM selection rather than food. Seasonal, office supplies, laundry, baby products and hardware have all been compacted into one aisle (departments which formerly occupied at least 3). This store is quite small by todays standards, with other locations available within a 10 minute drive. As a result, it made sense for Kroger to make such a move (the store desperately needed a remodel and was short on food space previously), but the timing is odd.

Kroger must be on a remodeling spree right now.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by CalItalian » December 3rd, 2017, 11:10 pm

Ralphs Marina del Rey (the former Alpha Beta location) started its remodel at the beginning of November 2 years ago. Was completed mid-January. That was a mess.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by BillyGr » December 4th, 2017, 12:48 pm

We had one locally that just finished a major remodel (part of the Price Chopper chain in NY State where they are converting the stores to Market 32 bit by bit) last month, but that was early in November (in fact they "cut the ribbon" on Election Day).

And the Hannaford just up the road has been remodeling - not sure if they are done yet or not but that would definitely be more of November if not still now into December.

Not too far from there is a brand new ShopRite that is opening this coming Sunday (12/10), which probably has a lot to do with both those remodels being done at this particular time.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by wnetmacman » December 4th, 2017, 1:14 pm

We have two Albertsons stores in Lafayette, LA that are in the process of being remodeled right now as well. Kind of puzzling, since these stores were both remodeled a couple of years ago. There's a thread for that already though...

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by klkla » December 4th, 2017, 6:51 pm

Five Gelson's stores (Century City, Santa Monica, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Rancho Mirage) are in the process of major remodels right now. From what I understand in their particular case the timing had a lot to do with getting permits, awarding construction contracts, changing liquor licenses and resolving disputes/issues with landlords.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by Super S » December 5th, 2017, 3:52 pm

I have seen stores being remodeled in every month of the year. Sometimes unforeseen things happen though. Everything from long waits for building permits, weather delays, building material supply issues, and sometimes problems show up as a building is being torn apart that need to be addressed. Sometimes things like labor disputes occur and the contractors remodeling the store , at least when they are union contractors, will not cross picket lines.

While I agree that this is an odd time of year to remodel, especially in areas that see a lot of snow, there are times when it is just not avoidable.

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Re: Remodeling a grocery store in November and December

Post by storewanderer » December 5th, 2017, 10:58 pm

I suppose it all depends on the store. Maybe if a store does not get a significant business spike during the holidays it is the right time to remodel. If there are urgent issues with the store (maintenance) being done in conjunction with a remodel then it would also make sense to remodel at this time.

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