Kroger will refurbish old Kmart building|[06/16/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2007

The former Kmart building on Pemberton Square Boulevard will be renovated – instead of being rebuilt – to be a new Kroger store, a district official said.

David Chadwick, advertising manager for the Kroger Delta Marketing Area headquartered in Memphis, said construction should begin in the fall and be completed by mid-2008.

&#8220I think it’s time for a new Kroger in Vicksburg,” Chadwick said. &#8220The present one has served the community fine, but it’s a little outdated, and we’ll be able to offer our Vicksburg shoppers much more with the larger facility.”

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Though the Kroger move was announced a few months ago, Chadwick and other Kroger officials had not previously commented on the grocery chain’s plans.

Chadwick said the store will provide a number of features not available at the current store, including a nature’s market, a drive-through pharmacy, a reading center, a section for kitchen utensils and an &#8220All About You” store, which sells health and beauty items.

Chadwick also said the new Kroger plans to sell discounted gasoline.

&#8220Our gasoline discount includes a standard saving of 3 cents per gallon for all Kroger shoppers,” Chadwick said. &#8220But in addition to that, for every $100 you spend at Kroger each month, you get 10 cents off every gallon.”

Shoppers at Vicksburg’s Kroger currently earn credits for gasoline discounts, but the nearest place to redeem them is 30 miles away, in Clinton.

In addition to gasoline savings and other new features, Chadwick said that the additional 26,000 square feet of building space in its new facility will allow for more food products, including expanded frozen, dairy and meat sections.

B.J. Crawford, a Utica resident who said she always shops at Kroger when she comes to Vicksburg, expressed enthusiasm regarding the future Kroger store.

&#8220I have no complaints about the current Kroger store, but I think a new and bigger facility would be a great thing,” Crawford said. &#8220And I think that the gas discount will be great. Vicksburg needs a place where people can get cheaper gasoline.”

Kroger purchased the vacated Kmart in December.

The store will be Kroger’s fourth in Vicksburg. The city’s first Kroger opened in the 1960s at Battlefield Village mall, which is now Blackburn Auto Mall. From there, it moved in the 1970s to what is now Post Plaza.

The current Kroger Co. has operated its store at 3405 Pemberton Square Blvd. since 1985.

No information was available on what would happen with the current building.