Kroger opened its newest store at the Cornerstone of Centerville, marking the finish line for much of the development in the popular area.
The 115,000-square-foot store joins other retail giants Cabela’s and Costco to anchor one of the fastest-growing areas in the Miami Valley. In just a few years, Cornerstone has transformed the Wilmington Pike/Interstate 675 corridor into one of the busiest retail hubs in the Dayton area — driving economic impact and creating 2,800 jobs for the region, development officials say.
Kroger alone created 500 jobs during the construction phase of the new location, and up to 300 jobs were created to staff the store. Kroger opened its doors at 7 a.m. on Thursday, with a jam-packed parking lot and customers bustling in and out of the brightly lit aisles.
Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said the city was thrilled to work with Kroger officials to bring in the new store, which was a strategic move to serve customers in the area. Steve Weyrich, Feedwire store manager and a Kroger employee for 43 years, said the store placement was very strategic, locating it in “one of the fastest-growing areas toward” Bellbrook, Sugarcreek Twp. and Centerville.
“This store has been a long time in the making and we’re incredibly excited to be opening our doors,” Weyrich said.
The grocery retailer chose to close a smaller Kroger store in Kettering at 2100 E. Whipp Road in favor of building the larger store in the new development.
Other retailers have also flocked to the area. Within the Cornerstone development are several buildings for tenants — Cornerstone Shoppes I and III are situated along on Wilmington Pike, the Village at Cornerstone is slotted for a space behind Costco, and Shoppes II is on Feedwire Road in front of Kroger.
Other businesses that have already opened or will open in the future in the Cornerstone development include: First Financial Bank, Panda Express, Zoup!, MOD pizza, Firehouse Subs, First Watch, CoreLife Eatery, Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern, Domino’s, 5-Star Nutrition, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe and and AT&T in the Shoppes I district.
While the burst in retail and office growth has spurred job and economic growth on the Centerville area, Kroger alone is generating thousands of jobs in more than 50 stores in the Miami Valley.
The popular grocer already employs more than 8,100 associates in the region. Nationwide, the company grew its workforce by more than 12,000 associates last year, and announced earlier this year that it would look to hire an estimated 10,000 permanent positions in its supermarket divisions.
"Kroger's growth trajectory continues to create opportunities for our people to advance their careers – and to do that in a fun team environment with great benefits," said Tim Massa, Kroger's group vice president of human resources and labor relations.
As their growth continues, the new Cornerstone store is an example of what Kroger is aiming to do — keep up with consumer trends by adding convenient and innovative store features.
Kroger expanded ClickList, its online shopping service, to several Dayton locations. Customers have the ability to go online and order from more than 40,000 items. With reserved pickup parking, Kroger associates bring the grocery order to the car.
Weyrich said the new store steps up the grocery game with a variety of ready-to-go foods like fried chicken and Mexican food. Customers can stop off for a glass of wine or a beer while stopping at the bank, doing their shopping or picking up a subscription at the pharmacy — a true one-stop shop, he said.
“It’s got everything from groceries to Murray’s Cheese. We’ve got Starbucks, a bistro, Asian fusian food, street Thai, a taco bar,” he said. “It’s a great place to shop. I think they’re going to enjoy it. I’m also a member of this community, so I know a lot of customers and we’re just proud to be here.”
Weyrich’s top priority? Pleasing the customer, he said. Angi Day, a resident of Kettering, pushed her cart and peered up at the neatly stacked aisles of products. Day said she never went to the old Kroger on Whipp Road, but planned to frequent the new, massive store.
“This is very convenient,” she said. “It’s enormous. It’ll be an adventure learning our way around.”