Kroger is expanding again in Houston — and I’m thrilled because it’s just two miles from my house! The new Kroger Marketplace brings exciting features to this fast-growing community in NW Houston including clothing and the neighborhood’s first community Starbucks!
I had the opportunity to get a personal one-on-one tour of the store five days before it’s August 1 opening. Obviously there was lots of activity as folks stocked the shelves and finalized details. But what impressed me the most was the store’s pep rally and dinner for its 300 employees planned for later in the day. Just an example-in-action of its customer service focus.
Kroger Marketplace in Cypress: 9703 Barker Cypress @ Tuckerton
- 123,000 sq. ft. shopping with 60 aisles and 20 check-out lanes
- 2nd Marketplace in Houston to offer children’s and adult apparel & shoes
- Products: fresh food, apparel, small appliances, furniture, home furnishings, Fuel Center and pharmacy
- Starbucks and Fred Meyer Jewelers located inside
Starbucks built its kiosk and shipped it to Kroger. Fred Meyer Jewelers is the 3rd largest jewelry brand in the country. Kroger bought it three years ago but most don’t realize the connection. In other states, it’s in malls, but Kroger decided to put this full-service jewelry store right in some of its stores.
Things that caught my eye
- 200 skylights for an open, sunny feel
- wide aisles that easily fit two carts
- 6 deli slicers and a touch-screen order station for hand-carved lunchmeat
- wine tasting bar (first in Houston) & on-site wine consultant
- fitting room for apparel
Many folks might be surprised to find apparel inside Kroger. It does sound a little funny! But the response to the apparel department in the Spring Marketplace (open since April) has been phenomenal. Kroger has dedicated buyers to ensure clothes are relevant and trendy. It offers name-brand apparel (Jockey, Soffee, Gloria Vanderbilt, Levi) as well as Kroger’s own clothing label. I love the support of the community with high school branded spirit shirts! There is a fitting room, too, which I didn’t expect!
Many clothes will be marked at 50% off right from the start as summer season is ending. Combine that with a 25% off coupon for apparel (good through August 5), and that adds up to big savings. I saw Gloria Vanderbilt jean capris at $14 – 50% off sale – 25% off coupon. That is about $5.25.
Murray’s Cheese is the oldest cheese shop in New York (since 1940). Kroger developed a partnership six years ago, and it’s in several of the Houston-area stores. Murray’s teaches Kroger everything about the cheese and company culture, and they personally visit to train Kroger associates. The cheese categories are defined as stinky, smooth, delicate, aged and such to help folks try new cheeses they might enjoy.
Kroger conducted hosted meetings in the community and learned the neighborhood wanted a sophisticated wine department. It’s a beautiful area featuring 1,300 wine labels — prices range from $2.99 – $299. The wine tasting bar will offer tasting events during prime-time shopping hours. A wine consultant is on-site to help with wine selections.
Texas brands get preferential treatment, and that’s obvious throughout the store. From the whole section of Texas-based sauces, dressings and such to the focus on local beer in that department. Kroger continues to work with local farmers in produce and posts signs sharing the names and cities of various farm partnerships. “We like to think of ourselves as the local grocer that supports the home team,” says Kristal Howard, public relations manager, Kroger.
The pet department is not your average grocery store variety. It features two long aisles and goes way beyond the cat and dog food. Grab some food for fish, reptiles, birds and more. Kroger also developed its own brand of dog food (Abound) about a month ago, which is like Kroger’s Simple Truth brand for pets. The area even includes a frozen section to spoil your dog with icy treats!
The Marketplace aims to be a one-stop shop for customers. As a result, it’s natural food section is robust. How about 24 ft. of shelving for health bars? It also includes natural mixes, nuts, and grains by the pound. There is even a machine for freshly ground peanut butter and almond butter! Products are labeled on the shelves with a gluten-free tag. Demand for these products is seeing double-digit growth.
The fresh food areas were not picture worthy because it was too early in the week for the food to be out! But I loved the openness of the Produce Department. The Meat & Seafood department includes 45 varieties of seafood, grilling station for food-to-go, and an open air market.
With Houston sitting in one of the most competitive grocery markets, Howard says Kroger has to be competitive with its pricing. And that includes its non-traditional lines such as small appliances, furniture and apparel. Did you know that Kroger offers 25% off make-up and beauty lines every day?
Check out the online flyer for the new Marketplace store in Cypress. You’ll find 25% off apparel coupon in that flyer! Digital coupons are another way to take advantage of savings at Kroger, and they can be easily loaded onto the loyalty card so you don’t forget them! Folks also can early up to $1 off/gallon fuel by shopping at Kroger. The new Fuel Center at Kroger Marketplace in Cypress will be offering some grand opening deals as well.
Grand Opening Details
Kroger Marketplace Grand Opening is Friday, August 1, 8 am. The first 250 folks will get paper coupons for free products for the first five days. Here is the schedule:
- Friday, August 1 — free 12-pk Coca-Cola soft drink (8 am coupon distribution)
- Saturday, August 2 — free 2 lb. Driscolls Strawberries (6 am coupon distribution)
- Sunday, August 3 — free 12 oz. Community Coffee (6 am coupon distribution)
- Monday, August 4 — free 1lb. Owens Sausage (6 am coupon distribution)
- Tuesday, August 5 — free Boars Head Beef Franks (6 am coupon distribution)
Enter to win a $50 Kroger card in this Houston on the Cheap giveaway!
Get ready for an exciting shopping experience in Cypress! And you will never see it this empty again…