Kroger to build 11 stores, remodel 22

Kroger (NYSE:KR) will build 11 new stores and expand or remodel 22 others in central Indiana. The $464.6 million expansion will create 3,440 permanent jobs.

The plan is part of a larger four-year outlook for the supermarket chain that began last year and includes building seven Kroger Marketplace stores, which are the retailer's largest outlets at about 125,000 sq. ft., reported the Associated Press. The larger formats include cafes, baby stores and apparel shops.

Four of the new stores will average 75,000 sq. ft. Five others will be expanded and 17 will be remodeled.

In addition, Kroger plans to build a regional training center in Indianapolis, remodel 22 pharmacies and open 16 new gas stations.

The brand is also expanding its Simple Truth natural and organic food offerings.

The expansion comes as other competitors, such as Meijer, Aldi, Target and Walmart, continue to build and expand in the area.

"Kroger has remained very competitive in the marketplace because we recognize the critical importance of investing in stores with features appropriate to the 21st century marketplace and evolving customer expectations," Jeff Burt, president of Kroger's central division, said in a company statement.

Kroger will continue to invest in expanding its supermarket reach. At the end of 2014, the company announced it would invest $100 million in its Michigan stores. And earlier this month the chain announced it will soon open its eighth Marketplace store in North Texas, spanning 400,000 sq. ft.

For more:
-See this Associated Press article

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