Thursday, March 07, 2019

TOUR: Kroger - Lexington, VA

Now for our first store tour of the Virginia group!
Heading in to Lexington, a small city that's home to both Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Academy. It has another great downtown.
Our first stop in Lexington is the Kroger, the first of two major supermarkets in town. The second is Food Lion, which we'll tour tomorrow.
Surprisingly, this is actually the first Kroger to appear on the blog!
The building and property has a vaguely A&P-like feel to it, although I doubt it ever was one. There is a spectacularly-preserved A&P centennial model just across the street at 114 Walker St.
I'm not at all familiar with Kroger, but I didn't think it was too common for the food & pharmacy lettering to overlap the logo, which is without its oval anyway!
You enter on the right side with bakery along the front wall to the right, deli on the right-side wall, and produce in the back-right corner. Meat and seafood line the back wall with frozen and dairy on the far (left) side of the store. Liquor and pharmacy are in the front-left corner.
Heading in to see one of Kroger's newer decor packages, although not the latest...
The entrance/exit is to the left through that doorway. We're looking at the front wall here. Bakery runs along the front wall just inside the entrance with deli along the right-side wall. Produce is in the back of the first aisle with meat, seafood, and dairy along the back wall. Frozen at the far end of the store and liquor and pharmacy in the front corner opposite the entrance.
Quick look across the front-end.
Bakery along the front wall.
I love the "cakes made your way" sign, although it doesn't really fit with the rest of the decor!
Despite the fact that this is a very small store, it has deluxe, 3-D decor. It looks like there was a version of this decor package that consisted just of letters applied to the wall.
Hot food in the front corner with a nice deli lining the side wall.
Small sushi counter to the right of the deli. There's some very deluxe offerings in this small supermarket! This was also my first time to a Kroger-owned store in many years, and I was very impressed with the overall decor, selection, and prices.
Here we see where the deli/bakery area gives way to produce towards the back of the store.
Looking back up towards the bakery department.
The produce/floral department is beautiful. Dark floors, focused track lighting and wall uplighting, and great decor hanging from the ceiling. The patterns on the walls are attractive but not overwhelming.
Organic produce along the back wall.
Looking back up towards deli/bakery.
The lighting really makes the colors in the produce stand out here.
Meat and seafood are next along the back wall.
The decor falls flat a little bit here. Not much detail on the walls and no lighting on these decor elements.
The attractive design returns for the meat and seafood counter. Small by New Jersey standards, but it's the only grocery store in the area with a service seafood counter!
Heading down a grocery aisle to see the (copious) category markers.
I'm not used to these category markers, and I'm not a huge fan. It seems like it would make doing a reset awfully hard.
Since this was my first time in a Kroger store in years, I was surprised with the newly redesigned packaging. I love the box design but does anyone else think the blue Kroger logo is out of place on this design? In my opinion, it's about time for a new look.
More nice storebrand packaging here. (Also, how about those prices? I can't remember the last time I paid $0.99 for a jar of pasta sauce!)
I don't know my Kroger decor packages, but it almost looks like this floor is left over from a prior renovation. It doesn't fit particularly well with what's on the walls, and it looks somewhat outdated.
Deluxe HABA aisle towards the far end of the store.
A look along the back wall, with the dairy alcove visible just to the left. These hanging signs are promoting Kroger's private label brands.
Dairy looks to have newly updated cases. Does anyone know how the wall patterns or symbols are chosen? A tree in dairy is nice, but it doesn't make too much sense.
Dairy continues along the last aisle (13) with some frozen in the last aisle and some in previous aisles.
First frozen half-aisle (11, above) and main frozen aisle (12, below).
Liquor is up in the front corner.
This signage gets a little lost with no real lighting on it.
Very attractive wall patterns here.
Self-checkout and pharmacy just next to the liquor department.
So often, I don't get a good picture of the front-end because there are too many employees or managers around. I think here I went a little over the top because I could! Come back tomorrow for a tour of the second supermarket in town, the Food Lion just up the street.

Kroger

422 E Nelson St, Lexington, VA
Open Daily 6AM-12AM
www.kroger.com
(540) 464-3309
My Rating: 

6 comments:

  1. Hey... a Kroger! Finally a chance for me to be the expert :P

    The exterior logo being without the oval is the norm - in fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a Kroger that *does* have the oval logo on the exterior, unless it's a Kroger Marketplace. The overlapping Food and Pharmacy letters are indeed a little less common, although they're not too unusual either... depends on the division of the company, it seems.

    You're right that the décor is no longer current, but it is the otherwise most recent package. On flickr we call it "2012." Within Kroger I believe it's known as "bountiful." It's probably fairly difficult to find a store with 100% wall-pasted letters; pretty much all of them have the 3D "basket" signs in some capacity. Stores with low ceilings like the one in that linked picture are the hardest ones for the baskets to fit into, but any ceiling higher than that should've gotten the full package. (Also, believe it or not, that Cakes Made Your Way sign is from this package as well! I agree, it doesn't match very well though...)

    I love the packaging redesign as well! I've been slowly compiling a bunch of photos related to that that I hope to get posted to my blog one of these years, haha. To each his own regarding the blue Kroger logo on the packaging itself, but I will say this: I like that new, white-rimmed version much better than the old, faux-3D gradient, red-rimmed version!

    Regarding the tile floor, that probably actually is from this décor package. I've seen that two-toned aisle pattern/wood floor in produce combo in a couple of 2012 décor stores before. That said, most 2012 stores opt simply for stained concrete.

    I couldn't tell you how the stencils were chosen either, lol. But they are common in all stores.

    And finally... I'm thinking this is the same store someone on flickr posted a pic or two of not too long ago, in which case, it's actually a former Safeway building! I'll see if I can find that, and come back here to link to it.

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  2. Update: yep; here's that photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/romleys/33195732648/

    I also found this shot of the store, evidently prior to the remodel since the storefront signage is different; this says it was previously a Harris Teeter in addition to Safeway - https://www.flickr.com/photos/joearchitect/7186374438/

    Forgot to comment on the goosenecks... I agree, they're a lot to take in for sure! I'm not the biggest fan, particularly in stores with drop ceilings like this one. (Imagine them in the even lower-ceiling stores, too!) But I believe they're designed to where the signs pop right off the hooks and can be changed around super easily, so it's not a problem when the store resets.

    I've got plenty of pictures I could share as examples for all the stuff I've said, but I don't want to bombard the comments here, so I'll just leave it at that XD

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    1. Your bombardment is always welcome. Thanks a lot for all the information, in both comments! I would have had no idea that it was a Safeway, although I could see it being a former Harris Teeter. The Safeways I'm familiar with have a different layout, with produce/floral/seafood on one side, meat along the back wall, and deli/bakery/prepared foods on the other side; this has the grand-aisle layout.

      As you mentioned, it also looks from the pictures you sent that the red Food & Pharmacy lettering was added at some point after the Kroger logo. Interesting. Would that have coincided with the interior remodel?

      I guess I'm used to seeing all the Acme stores on Acme Style, where you most likely got either the "basic" or "deluxe" decor versions; sounds like with Kroger, the difference isn't quite as pronounced.

      You're very right that the simplified new oval logo is much better than the previous one! It almost looks like they're trying to make it a little more like how it would have been 30-40 years ago, and that retro look is quite popular now.

      I suppose you're right about the category markers. I'm used to shopping in stores where the aisle markers are blank or just plain wrong about 75% of the time, so forget about category signs! They have a tendency to go horribly wrong...I was in a grocery store just this afternoon with three, count 'em, THREE signs advertising products from the Philippines -- which the store did have, but not under any of those signs (one had Edy's ice cream, one had Pepperidge Farm cookies, and one had frozen vegetables from a brand called Peru Food). So, you know, you're kinda on your own...

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    2. You're welcome! I wonder if it was Kroger or Harris Teeter who redid the layout here... I was going to mention it's unusual for me to see produce in the back corner in Kroger stores around me, but I have seen it online in other divisions, so it must not be too abnormal.

      I would guess so (regarding the exterior signage), but with Kroger who knows for sure, haha! And good point about the Acme décor packages. Personally, I'm glad Kroger doesn't really divide them into deluxe or basic like that... never been a big fan of "basic" versions.

      Good point about the retro feel of the logo as well! And regarding the category signs in that store you were in... yikes! Yeah, I hate that sort of thing, too. I've not paid much attention to how accurate Kroger's markers are (mostly because I don't shop there frequently - contrary to what all my comments would have you believe, lol!), but I know my local Walmart's and Target's are generally the same way...

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    3. Well, I'll take your word for it regarding the Kroger layouts. I hadn't been to a Kroger store for many years before this one, and since, I've been to only two others, both of which did have the produce kind of in the same spot. I agree on the basic decor versions!

      I must say on the category markers...I wasn't lying, but I was purposely omitting context ;-). The store is currently in the middle of a reset. However, I have been shopping at that store for years and, though the actual products under those signs have changed, the fact that they are not Filipino has not. Previously, one had seltzer; one, frozen vegetables, and one, beer.

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    4. LOL! Can't blame you there - I've been known to do the same thing :P

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