More Supermarkets Look to Smaller Footprints

From Hy-Vee to Kroger, grocery stores are seeing value in having small-format options, especially in urban locations.
October 23, 2017

DES MOINES – The pendulum may be swinging back to smaller footprint stores, as more supermarkets, discount retailers and other merchants turn to small-format stores to meet the needs of urban and other shoppers, the Omaha World-Herald reports. Last week, Target opened the first of a dozen stores, most of which are downsized versions of its typical store.

Grocery chains are finding ways to fit into larger mixed-use residential and retail projects with smaller footprints. For example, Hy-Vee’s new downtown Des Moines location is a mere 36,000 square feet nestled into the ground floor of a four-story apartment building. The store has a Market Grille restaurant and bar, as well as groceries, a pharmacy, a smoothie island and a beer growler bar. Italian, Japanese, Mexican, sushi, comfort food, charcuterie and deli food stations make up a kind of food court area.

Meanwhile, Kroger continues to test a variety of smaller formats in Ohio, opening a Fresh Eats MKT store this spring. Fresh Eats MKT has 12,000 square feet with made-to-order foodservice and a pharmacy with a drive-thru. Kroger also recently announced it would be exploring whether to shed its convenience store business.

Over the summer, Meijer started building a 37,000-square-foot store called Bridge Street Market in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. The store, which is in a mixed-use development, will have foodservice and groceries in a “market-like setting,” according to Meijer.