The Kroger on Derr Road held a grand reopening Friday after a 7 million renovation. ERIC HIGGENBOTHAM/STAFF

Kroger reopens Derr Road store after $7 million renovation

The renovations will help Kroger continue to be one of the top grocery stores in the region, said Kimberly Cooley, manager of the Derr Road store. Kroger started construction on the store on May 1.

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“We decided to remodel to invest in our store and our company,” she said. “This gives our customers a big, beautiful store to shop in.”

There are about 180 employees that work in the Derr Road store, she said, and seeing the customers’ excitement is special.

“I am so proud to be the store manager, our customers are in awe,” she said. “It has been a fantastic experience. It is very emotional and very inspiring.”

Cooley said these investments prove Kroger is still committed to Springfield.

“It means Kroger cares about our community here in Springfield,” she said.

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As part of the reopening, the store donated 100 turkeys to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The city of Springfield Facebook page recognized the store for its contribution Friday.

“Thanks to Kroger for this donation and the many donations they make to our Food Bank,” the Facebook post reads.

Earlier this year, the company announced it was scrapping previous plans to build a roughly $20 million Marketplace grocery store in Springfield’s southern corridor. At that time, spokespeople said the company was instead devoting resources to boosting technology and making improvements in existing stores.

There are currently five Kroger stores in the area. In addition to the Derr Road location, Kroger has stores at 2728 E. Main St., 1822 S. Limestone St., 965 N. Bechtle Ave. and 2300 N. Limestone St.

The chain will close the North Limestone Street store early next year. The company decided not to renew its lease on the property, Erin Rolfes, a Kroger spokeswoman, said in August. She said then the store has about 88 employees and they will be able to work at other area locations.

The store on East Main Street also is being remodeled.

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