You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Kroger on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor completes $4.5M renovation project

By Lizzy Alfs

The Kroger store on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor has finished its $4.5 million renovation project.

The store — which has anchored the Traver Village shopping center since it opened 20 years ago — began renovations in late June 2011 and remained open during the seven-month project. It is celebrating its renovation at a ceremony this morning.

Among the changes at the 67,564-square-foot store: new fixtures, shelving and lighting; additional checkout lanes; enhanced deli, meat and seafood sections; a new Asian specialty foods section; and the addition of a bilingual product clerk and bilingual pharmacist.

“We’ve upgraded departments for a more enjoyable shopping experience in an updated, attractive environment,” said store manager Brenda Cooper in a release.

The renovations were part of the routine store updates Kroger undergoes at its various locations, said Dale Hollandsworth, spokesman for the Ohio-based chain’s stores in Michigan.

“We try to touch anywhere from 12 to 15 of our stores every year with an upgrade and a remodel,” he said.

Kroger operates 2,458 stores in 31 states under various local banner names. There are seven locations in Washtenaw County.

Store upgrades at other nearby Kroger locations include the construction of a fuel center at the store on Carpenter road in Pittsfield Township in 2010.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I have tried to navigate thru this store to make a decent experience for getting groceries. It is actually too big. First was annoyed because 2 products had no prices on the product or the shelf. The layout is hard to figure out and to backtrack to look for something is ridiculous. Checkout lanes are worse than before-not sure why. I have been using the wonderful market in Kerrytown and the Food Coop-thanks Krogers for reminding us what is small is wonderful and more than adequate.

Ann English

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

I wonder if any employee was in those aisles where you found products with no prices on the shelf. I definitely remember being in the Maple Road Kroger when I told a nearby employee that some pasta had no price on its area of the shelf, and none on its own packaging, either. She promptly made a label showing the price, and stuck it on the correct place on the shelf, taking care of the problem. If employees at other Kroger locations can't or won't do this, they could help keep customers by following this particular Kroger employee's example.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

While it does look nice when they do this, they take away shelf space to make the store more "open" and as a result you will find that some of the items that you once purchased, no longer are available. The renovation looks nice but at the expense of less shopping options is not really a good trade imo


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Take a look at Hillers. I think I saw some there. Traders Joes might also have it. Haven't been in a bit but just a thought.

Ann English

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

I think the Plymouth Road Kroger is where I first saw the new Private Selection tea, across from frozen food. What is no longer available? Some selections of unsalted Kitchen Basics stock? I think Plum Market has the widest selection on Kitchen Basics stock and has occasional sales on it, like last week. Items sought during cold & flu season shouldn't be reduced to make more room for less-essential items such as cookies.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Looks really good! Congratulations!


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7 p.m.

I prefer local stores such as the Asian store at Plymouth Mall, as well as Busch's...a Michigan business.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

Actually you might want to take a peek at the Hiller flier. Some produce is cheaper then the other two. Just a thought.

Ann English

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Not only is Busch's Michigan-based, it's Ann Arbor-based. Meijer is Grand Rapids-based (or technically, Walker-based; Walker is very near Grand Rapids). I shop according to what's on sale where, not according to who's the closest. Often produce is cheaper at Meijer than at either Busch's or Kroger. Meijer surprised me this week with in-store specials on bok choy and kimchee. Lizzy, I think you meant "produce clerk" not "product clerk". We shouldn't be surprised that this remodeling made news; last week it hit the advertisements and store specials.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

Busch's charges a bit more for the same items though...


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Does this really qualify as news? A store gets a remodel, seems more like an ad.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

There is a huge Asian population in the area. What concerns me is the mom and pop shop Asian food store just across the other strip mall. They have things that you can't find anywhere else or have things the Asian store on Washtenaw does not carry. I really hate hearing that a mass chain store is giving competition to a small store that does do good business with the locals. Krogers? You won't find me there. I will shop in a local store to keep them in business and so should everyone else. IMO


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Sounds like they turned it into the Kroger on Whittaker Road. Concrete floors, warehouse feel. Did they get rid of the diagonal aisles? Those are/were just wrong.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

That Krogers is nothing like the one up on Plymouth. Whittaker still has the homey feel to it although with the price of yogurt and other things I buy, I am finding myself shopping more and more at Wal Mart. Prices can't be beat.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

I've shopped there for 20 years but am now going elsewhere more often. The renovation is dreadful: dreary decor at best, impossible-to-navigate produce section, a much-reduced selection of standard items. One of the workers told a friend of mine that essentially Kroger shoved all the regular groceries into a smaller area, reducing the selection and narrowing the aisles. I've looked recently for several new items without success. I used to be able to see a new product in an advertisement and be guaranteed Kroger would have it. No longer. Everyone seems crabby now: the customers who finally find what they need in illogical places and the check-out people and bag clerks (who have to let customers squeeze by them on a regular basis). I'm not a marketing person but one has to wonder what kind of research and design think tanks thought this was worth several millions in investment. I've yet to find a single friend (all former dedicated Kroger shoppers) who are enjoying their new Kroger experience.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

We left Meijer when it became a conglomerate. Now we find we are not shopping Krogers as much either. Got into with the manager about my coupons they issued last week. I too am done with Krogers.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

The layout is confusing, can't find anything yet. In the fruit section I found peaches in 3 different places. Not enough space between the check out lanes and the asiles close to them so when there is a long line to check out people are in the way. AAlso I HATE the high ceiling. Makes the place look and feel like a warehouse. In addition to that they made all of the asiles way taller so that only the very very tall can reach anything up there.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

An edit post function on is sorely needed...


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

***** aisles


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

The store looks nice but I like it much less now. The produce section, with its wooden "boxes" holding fruit, is VERY cramped, crowded, and annoying to shop in! People bump into each other, there is not enough room to maneuver the shopping cart, and the "boxes" are too close together. There seems to be some room in the bread area nearby, so maybe they could move a couple of the fruit "boxes" toward that area. Also, who decides what goes where?! Placement of items makes no common sense. Why put, for example, coffee across from frozen food and other items where one logically would NOT look for it!? There are many examples of this where it seems illogical to place certain items in the same aisle. (I can't remember all of the examples, but there are many!) It is very frustrating to shop there now and I have been going to Busch's more.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Despite the aisles feeling a bit more cramped, I am extremely happy with the updated store. They have added so many new products- including a new bulk section, the new asian aisle and they nearly tripled the selection of gluten-free food. I was annoyed by the construction, but now that it is done I look forward to grocery shopping!


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Great to hear they have upped their gluten free section. I was really disappointed in it last time I was there. The Kroger on Whitaker in Ypsi has a great selection as does the one in Westgate off Jackson.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

The sushi bar by the Starbucks is something else! Quite the aroma.....WHOA!!!! They have limited their coffee selection and need to take care of odor mitigation in the meat area. OTHER THAN is clean, and they are at least trying.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Although changes to the store allowed for an increase in overall product availability, the store increased its organic food and asian food section while decreasing the number of products in other sections. This was an effort to win the asian population support by directly competing with 2 other asian markets across the street. Poor choice.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

For the record? They are adding a larger Asian food section. If they do? Then think about the Asian food store across the way loosing business and their livelyhood. Kroger adds jobs but it is the mom and pop shops that suffer to commercialism.

Buster W.

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

jns131 Korger isn't providing jobs???


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Or go to the mom and pop shop Asian food store in the other strip mall. Shop local and keep everyones job.

Ed Kimball

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Why is that a poor choice? I know from talking to them that many of the Chinese and Chinese-American residents of nearby Parkway Meadows shop there. Isn't it a good choice to carry products your customers want? If you personally don't see products you want, let store management know.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

The Kroger store on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor Not to be confused with the Kroger store on Ann Arbor Rd in Plymouth.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

Sorry. I think the new layout is confusing and aisles are crowded. Why did they need such a big section in mid-store for alcohol? Checkout is also very crowded with shoppers unable to get past people waiting to checkout. Really liked the old store better. Find myself avoiding shopping there as the experience is too time consuming and frustrating.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

I just shopped there yesterday and none of that is true. The experience is much better with the upgrades. Give it another try.

UM owns

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

The new layout is confusing until you learn it.

Buster W.

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

"We try to touch anywhere from 12 to 15 of our stores every year with an upgrade and a remodel," he said. "Kroger operates 2,458 stores in 31 states under various local banner names. There are seven locations in Washtenaw County." So, on average, each existing store will get an upgrade/remodel every 164 years or so (2,458 stores/15 years = 163.9)???


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

They wanted to add a gas station to the one on Michigan ave and got turned down. Something about zoning. Would have a great additive to the Speedway being rebuilt over off that one corner.


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

This was a much needed project. Store looks great!

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

What second language do the bilingual employees speak?


Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

Vivienne, have you ever shopped at the Plymouth Rd Kroger??

Jimmy McNulty

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Good question. Chinese or Korean would be a more useful skill in that area than say Spanish or French.