Supermarkets’ biggest stores are bigger than ever, but at the same time, grocery chains across the country are testing small-format stores that tuck into fast-growing urban areas, often as part of larger mixed-use office and residential projects.
» Hy-Vee’s 36,000-square-foot downtown Des Moines store is just as much a restaurant as it is a supermarket. On the ground floor of a four-story building with apartments above, it has a Market Grille restaurant and bar, the Des Moines Register reported.
It has a pharmacy and all the typical grocery store food categories, plus lots of extra features, like a beer growler bar and a smoothie island. A series of food stations make up a food court, with Mexican, Italian, Japanese and deli foods along with sushi, charcuterie and comfort food.
» Kroger, the operator of Baker’s supermarkets in Omaha, is testing different small formats in its home state of Ohio. A Fresh Eats MKT store — a 12,000-square-foot convenience store — opened in the spring with made-to-order foodservice and a drive-thru pharmacy, Supermarket News reported.
Separately, Kroger will open its first new downtown Cincinnati store in 50 years in the spring of 2019, a 45,000-square-foot store, including a food hall, that’s part of a mixed-use tower, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
» Michigan-based Meijer in June broke ground on what it calls the Bridge Street Market, a 37,000-square-foot grocery store in downtown Grand Rapids. It, too, anchors a mixed-use development, and offers groceries and food services in a “market-like setting,” Meijer said.