Winchester Kroger expansion plans on hold

Published 12:21 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

Plans for the expansion of Winchester’s Kroger have been stalled as the company is considering broader upgrades that affect a larger customer base.

According to Kroger spokesperson Tim McGurk, the expansion has been put on hold while Kroger determines whether or not it and similar projects will be the most cost-effective option for the company.

“There were discussions of potentially expanding the Winchester store over the last year or two,” McGurk said. “Since that time, Kroger has decided that in lieu of a small number of major store expansions, our overall customer base would be better served with capital investments in improved technology, e-commerce and additional within-the-wall store updates.”

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He said the upgrades include Clicklist, Kroger’s online ordering and pickup service that has been launched in other communities, including Richmond and Lexington, and more recently in Winchester.

“We do not have news to announce yet pertaining specifically to the Winchester store,” McGurk said.

News of the potential expansion of the Winchester Kroger to a Marketplace came after the Winchester-Clark County Board of Adjustments recently approved a variance for the project, allowing Kroger to have 53 fewer parking spaces than required by ordinance, in January 2017.

According to the board’s staff report, the Winchester Kroger was supposed to expand to a Marketplace store, adding “an expanded selection of groceries and specialty departments…”

The Kroger website says Marketplace stores offer home decor items, kitchen appliances, home office supplies and toys. The website shows 13 Marketplace stores in Kentucky, including Lexington and Richmond.

McGurk said in an email last year there was nothing Kroger could share at that “early point.”

The initial report indicated Kroger would expand into adjacent spaces currently occupied by other tenants to add more than 37,000 square feet of space for a total of approximately 123,000 square feet.

Both Kroger and Winchester Investments LLC filed for the variance with the Board of Adjustments, according to the application.