Kroger gas could hit streets in early October|[07/19/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 19, 2008

Discounted fuel prices could be on its way to Vicksburg by early fall, as gasoline pumps have arrived at Kroger’s new store being built on Pemberton Square Boulevard.

A self-service gas station is penciled in for Oct. 1 – before the store opens later in the year or early next year – depending on how swiftly the new store’s computer system becomes operable, said company spokesman Joe Bell.

If current goals are met, Bell said, the gas station will be open for business even if the store is not.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Along with it will come the grocery giant’s standard list of savings for its customers. Those who sign up for Kroger’s Plus Shopper’s card will save 3 cents per gallon and a total of 10 cents for every $100 spent at Kroger in a month. Bell said another 5 cents per gallon will be saved on top of that when shoppers are approved for a Kroger MasterCard.

On the ground, contract electricians worked Friday to start the setup phase.

“We’re pulling wires, getting ready to install it,” said Phil Hammons, a supervisor with Jackson-based Bailey & Sons Electric. “They’re pushing pretty hard. There’s a lot of things going on.”

Base pricing of gasoline will be “competitive,” Bell said. The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Vicksburg stood at $3.99 Friday, down from about $4.06 Tuesday and less than the nationwide average of $4.10. In Clinton, the closest locale where Kroger shoppers can receive gas savings, regular gas averaged $3.91. Tied for the lowest was Kroger’s store at 406 Springridge Road, which was reported at $3.83.

It will be Vicksburg’s first all-in-one stop for gas and groceries since the August 2005 closing of Sack & Save, owned by Winn-Dixie. Prices for regular gas stood at $2.49 the day the store was shuttered as a result of its corporate parent’s bankruptcy. Revitalization efforts are underway at the South Frontage Road building.

Kroger purchased the 7.5 acres on which the 65,000-square-foot former Kmart building in December 2006. Demolition of the old store and reconstruction of the new one have continued during the past six months.

The move represents an expansion of Kroger’s current 49,000-square-foot store across the street in Pemberton Plaza, owned by CBL & Associates.

Kroger officials have said that the extra 16,000 square feet of building space in the new facility will allow for more food products, including expanded frozen, dairy and meat sections, plus a nature’s market, a drive-through pharmacy, a reading center, a section for kitchen utensils and an All About You store, which sells health and beauty items.