On Saturday, April 3, 2010, the Short Pump Ukrop’s closed for the last time to be remodeled as a Martin’s Food Market. For a week, store employees and a team of remodelers transformed the location for its grand reopening Monday morning. Outside, employees served a steady line of customers seeking to sign up for a […]
On Saturday, April 3, 2010, the Short Pump Ukrop’s closed for the last time to be remodeled as a Martin’s Food Market. For a week, store employees and a team of remodelers transformed the location for its grand reopening Monday morning.
Outside, employees served a steady line of customers seeking to sign up for a new Martin’s Bonuscard, the chain’s version of Ukrop’s Valued Customer cards. Richmond media in all forms swarmed the store, as well as curious shoppers checking out one of the first of what will be 25 Martin’s stores in Richmond.
The first thing you’ll notice upon walking in is, likely strategically, the alcohol. Stacked up high, beer and wine is very prevalent in the store, something Ukrop’s didn’t offer and something highly requested by many customers.
Around the store, that’s just what you’ll see– changes and similarities based on customer preferences and feedback. Martin’s Director of Public Relations Tracy Pawelski said the company used focus groups, customer comments and a group of 300 Ukrop’s customers to base their decisions on what should change and what should remain the same. “Why should we change what’s already great?” Pawelski said about the chain’s decision to keep many Ukrop’s products and traditions.
The entire bakery and cafe areas still retain the Ukrop’s namesake. Staples such as White House Rolls, Rainbow Cookies, Ukrop’s chicken salad and other items are also featured throughout the store and are labeled as “Hometown Favorites.” “Ukrop’s has a rich history of making high quality baked goods and prepared entrees and we are happy to continue to offer this well-loved tradition,” said Regional Vice President Jim Scanlon. “While there are plenty of new features at Martin’s, customers can still find their Ukrop’s brand favorites.”
Pawelski said hundreds of people were needed to transform the stores into their current state as Martin’s Food Markets, but by doubling the hours of Ukrop’s store employees for the week of the remodeling and pulling hundreds more from other Martin’s and Giant locations, the transformation was ahead of schedule. She noted that other stores, such as the Carytown location, which is closed this week, will need much more of a facelift than the Short Pump store did.
The Short Pump store was built in 1996 and just underwent a major remodel under Ukrop’s ownership last year.
Signs throughout the store touch on Martin’s commitment to the community with the Richmond SPCA and Central Virginia Foodbank, and continuing Ukrop’s legacy through programs such as the “Local Route” initiative where local produce and products are spotlighted and a focus on buying local is encouraged. Other signs tout the lowering of thousands of product prices throughout the store.
The store’s salad bar features the same Ukrop’s products and suppliers and now touts a sign proclaiming it as “The Best Salad Bar In Town.” Nearby, the store still offers up made-to-order fresh sushi and sashimi.
The Ukrop’s Cafe now features free (and fast- we tested it on an iPhone) Wi-Fi and updated tables and decor.
“We are excited to finally introduce the Martin’s shopping experience to the community,” said Jim Scanlon, regional vice president. “There are plenty of exciting new features combined with old favorites, providing a greater assortment of products and savings in every aisle of the store.”
Martin’s is aiming to increase the ease of shopping and checkout with additional self-checkout registers, known as EasyScan and EasyWeigh, where customers can weigh their produce, bulk foods and other items. The chain’s Shopping Solutions kiosks are located throughout the store, enabling customers to use the interactive touch-screen to check personalized Bonuscard savings offers, print off coupons, find meal recipes and locate an item in the store.
“With the remodels at the first four stores now completed, we hope customers are as excited as we are about what has changed and what has remained the same,” added Scanlon. In addition to Short Pump, the stores located at 3107 15 Boulevard in Colonial Heights, 10150 Brook Road near Virginia Center Commons Mall and 4660 Monticello Avenue in Williamsburg were closed for the past week as each store underwent a multi-million dollar remodel and update of amenities.
The nearby John Rolfe Commons Ukrop’s store was closed on Saturday and will reopen as Martin’s on April 19, 2010 at 8:00 a.m.
Below are our photos from the store tour Monday morning.