Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kroger Script (Cursive and Block) and Fresh Fare Décor

We're almost done with the décor posts! This one, the third, marks the halfway point of sorts, with two posts left. However, there's more than just five types of Kroger décor present in the Mid-South, of course! As with the last post, which featured neon and wannabe neon types, this post highlights more than one décor style. In fact, today holds a look at three: two types of script décor (cursive and block) and Fresh Fare, which are all similar. The remaining posts will feature more than one package as well.

As far as I'm aware (well, more like as far as I'm concerned), there's only one script-built store in the Mid-South, or at least only one that looks photogenic enough for me to declare it as the standard building style for this package! In reality, though, script décor does have quite a presence around here, mainly in remodeled neon stores. That does make sense - just as many Bauhaus stores were remodeled with millennium, which was roughly two packages later, script was also two packages away from neon, by my calculations. Of course, nowadays Kroger has just resigned to remodeling everything in sight with 2012 décor!

Inside the store, as usual, you are greeted by the produce section. No longer "the Kroger Garden," produce nonetheless still goes by different names depending on - to quote l_dawg2000 from a comment about Blogger -  "[what] case, [what] day, and...which way the wind was blowing, LoL!" Here, you see both "Produce" and "Fruits & Vegetables" elegantly scrawled (oxymoron, anyone?) - er, spelled across two 3D displays. For full disclosure: other stores had only some or maybe no 3D displays, opting solely for the letters plastered on the wall (those were mostly remodels of older décor, so far as I can tell). Similarly, some stores had both names presented here, while others had one or the other.

As I seem to keep saying is typical - a Kroger's layout, after all, tends to be the same, if the décor is not - produce is flanked by the bakery and the ever-identity-crisis-faring deli/delicatessen. With these photos, you can see close-up the muted colors that accent the cursive script in this package, as well as the similarly pleasing architecture.

Along the back lie the lunchmeat and meat and seafood departments. Again, the layout depends on the store: meat and seafood can be wed or divorced, so to speak. Also, note the woodgrain Kroger logo at the corner past "Luncheon Meat" - one of the many classy, repeating script décor elements.

Past those departments you have fresh dairy, along with milk and juice. With the latter pic you can really see one of the diamonds that accent the décor further. Also playing accents are some local flair elements (in select stores; not pictured below), as well as more Kroger nods and the matching aisle signs, both of which are pictured below.

Underneath the little embellishments you have other sections of a script store - not necessarily in all, but worth a look - including the natural foods area, and floral and café spaces. Below is the pharmacy department.

Last but not least, a look at the front end of a cursive script store. Why do I say "cursive"? Well, because Kroger apparently had an alternative version of this same décor!!

As you can see above, this script is rather blocky... hence, "block script" seems as good a name as any. In my mind, it's very similar to Schnucks's décor package [that was used during their time in the Mid-South]. Block letters don't make up a very engaging décor package. But the blow is softened, given that the same cool elements of the cursive version are still spread throughout. Other than that, there's not a lot to say about this version of script décor: some example pictures are below, same as I did to wannabe neon. (Maybe both actually predated their comparison décor packages, but what can I say? The comparisons look better!)

Thank you for shopping Kroger... but we're not done yet! Also in this post is Fresh Fare décor - examples below.

Fresh Fare, as far as I can tell, is something that looks like a concept by Kroger to create a more upscale, specialized store, product-wise... I can't speak for the products (I think they're mostly the same as in any other Kroger you'll find) but evidently Kroger doesn't think it accomplishes that décor-wise. I'm not sure if any of these stores around here have been "2012'd" yet (there's only three Fresh Fare stores, by the way, so that accounts for the lack of pictures), but I don't think their special designation would really stop Kroger, to be honest.

I will give Fresh Fare credit, though, for its incorporation of local flair (which I think everyone likes). As I said, there are three around here; these are custom murals from two. One store - on Exeter Road in Germantown - could be in danger of closing, as it is just around the corner (literally!) from the Farmington Blvd. Schnucks that Kroger is extensively remodeling. So that would drop the Fresh Fare count down to two...

As it is, I'd say these stores were pretty much the breeding ground for 2012 décor anyway: looking at the produce section and the aisle markers, there's pretty much (in my opinion) a blend of script and 2012 décor elements. 2012 décor (as if you haven't seen enough, if you've been in any Kroger stores lately!) will be the focus of the next post, alongside its offshoot, Marketplace décor.

Some other random shots from around the store. There's certainly no shortage of the Fresh Fare logo!

NOW I can say thanks for shopping Kroger! Er... I mean, stopping by the Mid-South Retail Blog. Thanks also to kingskip1, Bradley_Memphis, and l_dawg2000, whose photos are featured in this post. And no thanks to Blogger, because it puts me through so much trouble to create these simple posts!

Like I said, stay tuned for the next post, featuring Kroger's latest décor style(s). Until then, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Today's post highlights DeSoto County, MS, retail.
According to the DeSoto Times, Conn's Appliances has purchased the entire former Super Kmart land - officially named "Stateline Square Shopping Center" - and will construct a new, 40,000+ square foot store, its third in the Mid-South and "big news for the...revitalization of economic development...[in] the original part of [Southaven]," according to the city's mayor, Darren Musselwhite. No word yet on when the construction will begin, or what will happen to current tenants Burlington, Home Décor Liquidators, and Bargain Hunt. Current square footage totals over 170,000 square feet, and the parking lot is comically larger than the customer base, so Conn's very well could build its new store separately from the former Super Kmart and leave the operating businesses untouched, aside from now owning their land. In any case, count on your local flickr team to keep you updated!, do I make us sound like a news organization! This photo has been cross-posted on flickr.

A panoramic view of the former Super Kmart, located at 550 Stateline Road in Southaven, MS.

Until next time... have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kroger Neon and Wannabe Neon Décor

Welcome back to the Mid-South Retail Blog, everyone! Oh wait... I suppose you should be welcoming me instead, I'm the one who forgot to post for a whole month!! Oh well, I was quite busy in May anyway. Now that it's summer though, my goal is to get through all of the Kroger décor posts (which I have streamlined into five posts, as compared to whatever number I'd given out before). Whether or not I meet that goal is yet to be determined... but for now, let's try and knock at least this one out of the park!

As you may be able to tell from this example of a typical exterior look of a Kroger of this era, today's post focuses primarily on neon décor, with what we flickrites whose photos are featured in this/these post(s) - that is, kingskip1, Bradley_Memphis, l_dawg2000, and myself - call "wannabe neon" also included as, to borrow a term from Albertsons Florida Blog (and his, well, Albertsons Florida Blog), a "quick glimpse."

Inside the store, as always, is the produce section, dubbed in this incarnation of Kroger décor - preceding millennium, featured in the last post, by the way - "The Kroger Garden." And boy, does the neon live up to its name! If you follow my uploads on flickr you probably know by now that I am a sucker for neon in stores. Sadly, I was unable to get any pictures of a neon Kroger before they all were remodeled or handled otherwise.

Alternatively, the Kroger Garden was sometimes dubbed "Fresh to You," shining bright in blue instead of spectacular green. (Seriously, the neon in that last photo looks awesome!!)

Joining the produce area, as is typical, is the bakery (above) and deli areas... although as you'll see below, Kroger seems to have always had an issue between naming the area in a formal or truncated manner. In the neon era I can see this as having been a spacing issue, but millennium, with standard-sized signs, is a different story...


Accompanying these two departments are bread and rolls (below) as well as other areas which either didn't necessarily always receive neon signage (i.e. donuts) or were located in various places in the neon layout (i.e. cafés).

It appears that in some cases, the bakery area got custom names... not sure how which stores got what neon was determined. In any case, meals to go would be in the general vicinity.

All of that was just (generally, anyway) on the side wall... can you believe it?! Moving to the back of the store, you have more of your usual grocery staples, such as lunchmeat (stylized here as "Luncheon Meat") and milk and/or "The Kroger Dairy."

Along with prepackaged meat, of course, comes real meat! "Choice Cuts" cut the corner below...

...but doesn't always.

Of course, sometimes meat was just "Meat." And if seafood was lucky enough to get its own neon, it typically was marked "Fresh Catch."

Now, down the opposite side of the store with frozen foods! Well, not exactly: frozen foods actually never got a neon sign (at least to my knowledge), as it, while not in the center, did run down some aisles and not along an edge of a store. That other outer wall tended to be reserved for such departments as floral, pharmacy, and ice cream (!).

From there, you're on the front end of the store, which, besides the checkouts, doesn't house much of interest. (Aside, of course, from a potential location for the café, as pictured above - you can also see how the general aisles are marked by a pronounced ceiling, er, thing that, for all intents and purposes, is bigger on the inside ;) ) So take a look down instead, and notice the cool floor tiles that put the finishing touches on the stunning Kroger neon décor package!

But wait, there's more!

We come to the wannabe neon Kroger décor part of the post! In essence, this is just a cheaper, neonless version of the neon package, so I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on it. After all, a photo is worth a thousand words, right?

Well, some question words could be used to describe (or, well, interrogate) the wannabe neon décor. As you see here, not only does Kroger once again demonstrate naming inconsistencies - "Kroger Garden" versus "PRODUCE" - but some stores with this package got loud, capitalized department names, while others got more relaxed sentence case.

Speaking of "cases" (horrible transition, right?), here's a look at some other wannabe neon departments whose products are shelved in refrigerated cases: deli, meat and seafood, and dairy. Below are other examples of this décor, as found in the bread and rolls and pharmacy areas.

Even the restrooms sign in both types of stores got the wannabe neon treatment! 

And to close, I have to say a big thank you for checking out this second in my series of four Kroger décor posts! The next one will come this summer, I promise - maybe even this month! Until then, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell