In honor of the second to last TYOK post being published this Wednesday, I thought it appropriate to close out the week with another light Kroger post. This a return to a store we visited a couple of weeks back. The new “Hispanic” Kroger in the Almeda area. When visiting the main store, the conclusion I came to was that while it was a nice Krogering experience, there wasn’t too much “Hispanic” about the store beyond an expanded international product mix. This product mix even included things like Tide from Vietnam. Compared to my Sellers Bros. post from last week, it was similarly closer to Fiesta than La Michoacana. That being said, the store was still quite a bit nicer than most Fiestas. Many features from the Albertson’s days were still in place and being used, like the front-end deli counter, the Starbucks, and even the “Kroger Express” (a nickname for the former Albertsons Express locations coined here on HHR). I had not initially planned to visit the “Kwik Shop” as the store was officially known, although signage has been changed many times over the years. I figured they couldn’t do much to it other than close it. Visiting the store and finding that there were few physical changes and an increased international product mix, I decided to check out the gas station. I figured, at the least, there would be a few new products, and I was right!
I should preface with the fact that these stores are hard to photograph. Despite this generation of Albertsons Express being the largest in the chain’s history, the stores are still smaller than a standard gas station C-Store of the late 90s. As such, no physical changes were noted in the C-Store except for a new Mexican ice cream cooler and updated bilingual signage on drink dispensers. Other than that, the shift was purely product-based. The formula for these stores seems to be largely the same as Albertsons’s, an aisle for auto-care, an aisle for personal care (HBA), and the rest split between a bare stock of non-perishable groceries and C-Store essentials. Everything in the store is close, if not the same price, to the main store, and the store even includes a few extras in the way of a soda and ICEE machine. The non-perishable grocery has been updated to include more Hispanic products, and the gas station selections have added more Hispanic snacks, specifically ice cream, candy, and chips. Overall the change was more significant than I was expecting, but like the main store, it was a bit underwhelming overall. While I hope this concept works for the area, I’m not sure we’ll see such a “big hubbub” over the next Hispanic Kroger conversions. What are your thoughts on this Kroger conversion?