Kroger to open Marketplace store in Royal Oak

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

The Kroger Co. plans to open its newest Marketplace superstore at 8 a.m. today in Royal Oak, giving residents near Interstate 75 and 12 Mile a spot to buy more than just groceries.

The 115,000-square-foot store at the southwest corner of 12 Mile and Stephenson Highway is more than twice the size of a typical Kroger. The Marketplace features an expanded grocery area with a large fresh foods department, deli, sushi, Asian food bar, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza bar, salad bar and a Murray’s Cheese shop. It also includes kitchen goods, clothing, baby items, shoes, toys, electronics, kitchen items and home goods.

“What a marketplace offers is a one-stop-shop for consumers to find everything under one roof,” said Rachel Hurst, consumer affairs manager for Kroger in Michigan.

The more than $23 million store also features a Starbucks, fuel center, pharmacy and even a wine bar with a steward.

The first 400 opening day customers are slated to receive a reusable grocery bag and $10 gift card. An ad says customers can visit the store between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. today for wine tasting and to sample spirits. And 95.5 WKQI-FM will broadcast from the store 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Other special events are scheduled through Sunday. The normal hours at the store will be 6 a.m.-midnight daily.

Hurst said the grocery chain hopes to hire a total of 400 employees for the Royal Oak location. Several employees transferred from the Kroger that closed earlier this year at 13 Mile and Woodward in Royal Oak, Hurst said. That aging Kroger store in the Northwood Shopping Center closed because Beaumont Health plans to raze and redevelop the entire site.

Kroger opened a Marketplace store in September at M-59 and Elizabeth Lake Road in White Lake Township and, during December, plans to open another at 26 Mile and Van Dyke in Shelby Township.

Kroger, with its Michigan base in Novi, has 125 grocery stores in Michigan and employs more than 18,000 people.

Next week, Kroger plans to launch ClickList online ordering for the Royal Oak store. The curbside service allows shoppers to select from 40,000 items online and pay and receive them without leaving their vehicles. The chain offers the service in nearly 20 Michigan stores, with plans to roll it to 30 by the end of the year.

“We really know that Royal Oak is a big market for us to be in,” Hurst said. “We feel that being a larger part of the community is important to our company’s future.”

mburden@detroitnews.com

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