The Little Kroger That Got Lucky

I haven’t noticed a lot new in the past few days, sorry for the lack of updates. But I really wanted to write and post something, so here are some photos I recently resurfaced of the closing of the Kroger store at Stadium and South Industrial, circa 2014.

Interior, Stadium/South Industrial Kroger, looking east from checkouts toward the deli and bakery.. (C)A2RS

At the time of its closing, South Industrial was the smallest Kroger store in town and probably one of the very smallest in the Detroit metro area. Small enough that it only had a single entrance/exit. Small enough that you could get from one end to the other in a minute or less without rushing. Too small to survive in the era of ever-larger-footprint Kroger stores. The Traver Village store, on Plymouth Road, was the largest store in the Kroger chain at its 1992 opening; though it has only grown larger from there, other territories have Kroger stores that dwarf it. Some take a run at Meijer or Walmart and stock general merchandise.

Closing announcement floor sign at South Industrial Kroger store. (C)A2RS

The South Industrial Kroger was the closest supermarket, and nearly the closest business, to nearly all of the U-M athletic campus, including all the stadia and arenas, a truth reflected in its decor. Each corner of the store had a mural depicting Wolverines excelling in a particular sport.

The Wolverines pull ahead (of lettuce) of Ohio State. This was back pre-renovation, when you could only fit maybe 105,000 people in the Big House. (C)A2RS
You know what’s always a slam-dunk? Donuts (just out of frame). (C)A2RS
It’s natatorium, it’s the cold cuts section. (C)A2RS
From Jesse Owens’ long run, to my beer run. (C)A2RS
Yost for the taste of it. (C)A2RS
There’s a runner on third. Dairy try to steal home? If he can touch the bag-uette might mean the winning run. (C)A2RS

I personally liked this Kroger because it was very conveniently located between my work and my house, it was open until at least 11 most nights, and it was priced competitively with other grocery stores in the area despite being conveniently located and small enough to quickly navigate. Did I occasionally accidentally buy something that was past its freshness date? Sure, but they always cheerfully exchanged it.

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You get the idea. This was a small Kroger.

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I was still sorry to see it go. So were many other people who sent farewell cards, and signed a giant banner on the front of the store.

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In the ensuing weeks and months, the building would be debranded. Here it was soon after it closed, but before the announcement of its future tenant, Lucky’s Market.

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And here we are today. Lucky’s has been a reasonably good neighbor. Their prices, especially their sale prices and private-label items, are often competitive with larger supermarkets, and they have a pretty good beer and wine selection. Not to mention, you can walk around with a dang glass of beer, if you feel like that helps you shop (it does).

Interior, Lucky’s Market, looking east from the produce section toward the checkouts and the bakery. (C)A2RS

I’m sure it is not a coincidence that Kroger owns a share of Lucky’s Market. Thanks for reading!

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