A customer uses self checkout at a Kroger store in the Dayton region. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

With recent renovations, Kroger grows footprint in region

As the competition between grocery stores and online delivery services heats up, Kroger is marking its territory in the Dayton region by investing millions of dollars in store renovations and adding new service options like ClickList for busy consumers.

In the past year, Kroger has unveiled new stores in the region like two new massive marketplaces in Fairborn and Centerville. Now, the grocery chain will spend $4.3 million to renovate its store in Huber Heights. The store, located at 7747 Old Troy Pike, will also offer ClickList services.

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Kroger has already invested upwards of $53 million in its regional presence just in recent years. It has 44 supermarkets, 12 locations with ClickList services and another 10 locations with Starbucks services. The popular grocer already employs more than 8,100 associates in the Dayton region.

The Fairborn and Cornerstone of Centerville stores, which both opened this year, added at least 600 jobs to the region. Kroger is also adding another marketplace in Springfield, and has a heavy presence in the Northern Cincinnati suburbs.

The Huber Heights store renovation is expected to be completed by spring 2018. The remodel includes new décor and updates and new equipment in all departments – Meat/Seafood, Deli/Bakery, Produce and Floral and Front-End upgrades. The exterior of the store will receive a facelift with new signage and paint. The store will also offer ClickList online shopping.

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The Cincinnati-headquartered retailer is focusing on ways to compete with online grocery shopping and food delivery services. Driven by ClickList sales, the company’s digital revenue was up 109 percent in the third quarter. Total sales increased by more than 4 percent to nearly $28 million in the third quarter — compared to $26.6 for the same period last year.

“We continue to accelerate our digital and e-commerce offerings,” said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Online grocery shopping is making major gains, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017 report. The number of shoppers buying some of their groceries online jumped to 11 percent in the first quarter compared to 5 percent in 2016, according to the report.

» RELATED: Kroger to create 600 jobs with new Dayton-area stores

The supermarkets and grocery industry have a major impact on local economies, and brought in $612 billion in revenue nationwide last year. More than 2.6 million people were employed by the industry in 2016 as well.

Other grocery retailers like Meijer and Whole Foods are also offering new ways for consumers to shop. Meijer launched grocery delivery in the Dayton region earlier this year, and Whole Foods has launched new services since it was acquired by Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

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