March 09--Kroger is expanding a Richmond-area store. That will give the grocery chain three Marketplace stores in the area, and the company has plans to build more bigger-box supermarkets here in the future.
Speaking from his office in Roanoke, Fenton Childers, who manages Kroger's real estate in the Mid-Atlantic region, said the company plans to expand its store at the Rutland Commons shopping center in Mechanicsville from about 74,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet.
Barring holdups in the permit process with Hanover County, work on the $10 million project could begin this summer.
The expanded store would be the third Kroger Marketplace in the area.
In December, the company opened a 123,000-square-foot store in the former Cloverleaf Mall, and it has begun site work for a second Kroger Marketplace in a shopping center at Staples Mill and Hungary Spring roads in Henrico County.
Childers said Kroger expects to add more of the bigger stores.
"We are looking at the possibility of building a couple more of the Marketplace stores in the Richmond market," he said. "We'll build more conventional stores also. We want a blend of both."
Kroger operates 17 stores in the Richmond market and, according to the most recent annual survey by industry publication Food World, has a 12 percent market share in the area.
In addition to selling groceries, prepared foods and bakery items, the bigger stores carry furniture, children's clothes, home decor items and appliances. Cincinnati-based Kroger operates more than 100 big stores across the country.
Overall, Kroger has more than 2,400 stores in 31 states, including more than 60 in Virginia.