Statement as issued by Kroger on Friday morning:
Kroger Announces Additional Store Investment Plans in Fort Wayne
· Multi-million dollar remodel of Clinton Street store, including fuel center in 2013
· Grand opening of second Marketplace store at Village of Coventry in October
· Major remodel of Bluffton Road store complete by December 2012
· North Anthony store will not reopen; adjacent pharmacy building to close
· All current associates keep jobs; more than 100 new jobs to be added
FORT WAYNE, IN – August 17th – At a news conference this morning at 10:00 AM at Kroger Central Division's Clinton Street store, spokesman John Elliott shared updates to Kroger's more than $100 million, multi-year strategy for the Fort Wayne region.
In October Kroger will open its second Marketplace store in Fort Wayne, having replaced a shopping center at Village of Coventry to make way for the $16.5 million investment.
In December, Kroger will celebrate the grand reopening of its store at 7008 Bluffton Road, following a $2.1 million remodel of that store. That store project is the last once in Kroger's original multi-year plan.
Over the next year, Kroger will complete a major remodel of the store at 4120 North Clinton Street. This project is not part of the original $75 million Fort Wayne region strategy that grew to more than $105 million as Kroger also purchased four shopping centers. In fact, since announcing the expanded strategy in October 2008, Kroger has added several smaller store projects to the initial plan. The multi-million dollar Clinton Street remodel will dramatically enhance customer options throughout the store. In addition, Kroger hopes to add a fuel center at the Clinton Street location. The remodel and fuel center will create additional jobs at that store.
Structural failure of the building in which Kroger's North Anthony store is located caused the temporary closure of that building. Kroger announced this morning that the building is beyond repair and will not reopen. The adjacent pharmacy building will be closed in three weeks. Starting next week, Kroger will reduce prices on most merchandise at the North Anthony pharmacy. Advertising and signage at the pharmacy will provide details. All associates will be offered employment at other Kroger locations in the Fort Wayne region.
Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder commented on the company's plans, "Kroger made a major commitment to northeast Indiana in 2007 that has provided more than $105 million in local project investment and job security to approximately 2,000 associates. We now have a group of stores that have been remodeled to meet the unique expectations of each store's customers. Those stores provide outstanding employment opportunities for our associates. As we blended Kroger and Scott's long traditions of community service, our total commitment to the Fort Wayne has climbed to thousands of hours of volunteer service and well over $1 million in support of dozens of local organizations each year. We remain committed to northeast Indiana and we will continuously improve the way we serve our customers, care for our associates and support our local communities."
Moeder continued, "When Kroger announced the acquisition of Scott's Food and Pharmacy from a national competitor in 2007, we pledged that no Scott's associate would lose their job. Kroger kept that commitment. When Kroger closed several store locations as the company realigned store locations across the region, we pledged that no Kroger associates in the Fort Wayne region would lose their jobs as a result. We also kept that commitment. As we have expanded or remodeled stores and built new stores, we've actually added hundreds of new jobs. We know continued employment of our North Anthony associates is a priority for our customers and neighbors in Fort Wayne and we appreciate the patient support of our customers as we worked out the best solution to the challenge caused by the building's structural failure. This morning all associates from the North Anthony store were told once again that they will have long-term positions in nearby stores, including the exciting new Marketplace store."
The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 129 years. The Kroger Central Division has 139 food stores, 116 pharmacies and 72 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott's, Owen's and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to five stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $14.7 million in 2011 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. The Kroger Co. was recently named the most generous company in America in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.