Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

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SamSpade
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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by SamSpade » March 19th, 2020, 1:58 pm

2,500+ have signed at Change.org asking Kroger to reconsider. Unfortunately companies generally don't.

https://www.postregister.com/news/local ... 9.amp.html

Now at over 5,000 signed.
https://www.change.org/p/kroger-help-sa ... alls-idaho

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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by Bagels » March 19th, 2020, 4:43 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 11:48 pm
Smiths did very similar very cheap remodels in 2013 to its Sparks, NV (since then, got a much more major remodel costing millions) and Carson City, NV Stores (crickets) and I have some awareness how much they spent on those two based on looking at the permits at the time. These stores were all of a similar era and similar "cut" and all had the same mid 90's Smiths interior wall decor and relocated SoCal refrigeration from the mid 90's, but original flooring and shelving, before these 2013 Kroger remodels.

I am disappointed to see Smiths closing in Idaho Falls.
You may be right, but the number seems low to me. While Kroger likes to keep the per store figures private, they have made some public -- for example, in 2016, they spent $1.6M (including $1.3M on the interior and $300K on the exterior) updating a nearly 60yo store in Indianapolis. That's an incredibly small store, and from pictures, it's clear that the replacement furniture and fixtures were pulled from other stores. And Supervalu states they "refreshed" most Cub Foods at an average cost of $1.5M-$2M (the few full renovations were $6M-$10M)... and the furniture and fixtures were largely recycled from closed stores under their Albertsons umbrella. Hence where I'm getting my mental figure, but again, you may be right.

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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by storewanderer » March 19th, 2020, 11:42 pm

Bagels wrote:
March 19th, 2020, 4:43 pm
storewanderer wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 11:48 pm
Smiths did very similar very cheap remodels in 2013 to its Sparks, NV (since then, got a much more major remodel costing millions) and Carson City, NV Stores (crickets) and I have some awareness how much they spent on those two based on looking at the permits at the time. These stores were all of a similar era and similar "cut" and all had the same mid 90's Smiths interior wall decor and relocated SoCal refrigeration from the mid 90's, but original flooring and shelving, before these 2013 Kroger remodels.

I am disappointed to see Smiths closing in Idaho Falls.
You may be right, but the number seems low to me. While Kroger likes to keep the per store figures private, they have made some public -- for example, in 2016, they spent $1.6M (including $1.3M on the interior and $300K on the exterior) updating a nearly 60yo store in Indianapolis. That's an incredibly small store, and from pictures, it's clear that the replacement furniture and fixtures were pulled from other stores. And Supervalu states they "refreshed" most Cub Foods at an average cost of $1.5M-$2M (the few full renovations were $6M-$10M)... and the furniture and fixtures were largely recycled from closed stores under their Albertsons umbrella. Hence where I'm getting my mental figure, but again, you may be right.
It depends a lot on the scope of work. Some of these larger dollar remodels to old stores will involve re-doing wiring in the ceiling, new roof, new parking lot, and other things that are quite costly but not exactly cosmetic.

The 2013 rural Smiths remodels were done extremely cheaply. I guess the remodels in my area were actually in 2012. Some before/after photos there. It was really a band aid to at least get some fresh paint into stores that were extremely tired. http://storewanderer.blogspot.com/2012/03/
http://storewanderer.blogspot.com/2012/ ... model.html
They spent considerably more on Gardnerville (closer to $750k I think) than Sparks and Carson, and it is a much smaller store.

What is funny is with all the changes Kroger has made to the stores the past few years which I have found quite negative (fewer checkstands, narrow aisles, fewer product facings, less non food selection), the least changed location today is Carson City and if I have any amount of product I want from Smiths, I will go to that location. Aside from the remodel photographed above it is basically still in the old Smiths configuration of the 80's with wide aisles, many facings of products, and a huge mix of non food. It is a pretty rough around the edges place, but it sure functions well as a store.

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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by storewanderer » April 4th, 2020, 12:45 am

So there is a news that went into this store to recognize a 40+ year employee, so it looks like the store dates to 1980. I wonder if previously they were in a different location or this was an expansion of an older store.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQbDK4Am7Q

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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by SamSpade » April 4th, 2020, 1:18 am

The store was originally on the other end of the strip center. I can barely remember it.

The store moved to this end of the center and opened around 1990. It had a fresh juice bar (yay for late 80s early 90s superstores). It had new technology of an air pocket front entrance instead of doors. It was later retrofitted to have a "club store" size aisle and it sounds like that came from the SoCal divestitures.

When I was younger, Smith's was the only store with Alta Dena cheese (in the "health food" section) and used to sell a lot of general merchandise. You could buy a clock radio, toys and board games, etc. They sold so many office supplies that you could do back to school shopping there. Another notable item for a place like Idaho, instant ramen from Japan that actually came with liquid seasoning packets, not just everyday brands.

This location had a video department that was set up like a video rental store with a sign that was built to mimic a traditional theater marquee along with in and out gates around the center counter, a First Security Bank (later Wells Fargo), and a pharmacy. The bank would have been the first supermarket branch in Idaho Falls. (US Bank was in but left Albertsons in following years, Chase left Fred Meyer this year)

Despite being near the main post office, Smith's was also a contract outlet postal office, which brought in more traffic to their customer service counter (ended sometime after Kroger took over).

Visiting this store in March 2020, I realized how Kroger's current format works pretty well in a supermarket, but I'm not so sure in a hypermarket like Fred Meyer.
Last edited by SamSpade on April 5th, 2020, 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smith's shuttering Idaho Falls store

Post by storewanderer » April 4th, 2020, 10:41 pm

These Smiths type stores seem to be the format Kroger operates best. The basic 65,000 square foot combo food/drug store. Given that Smiths, King Soopers, and Frys are essentially all very similar stores like this, and a good bit of the Kroger banner seems to be this format as well, it makes sense that they have perfected this format. They seem to not really get it real well with smaller size stores and the larger Marketplaces are very nice but just don't seem to be merchandised in a way that gets the traffic that is needed on the non-food side.

I think they had the "club pack" aisle before the mid 1990's but I could be wrong. I know they had it into the 00's here, Fred Meyer even developed that "First Choice" private label which ended up for a time being a club pack private label. Ralphs NorCal Stores got a club pack half aisle during the remodeling process also.

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