The Kroger Marketplace that opened in Oak Ridge on Sunday is the companyâ€™s largest store in the Knoxville and Nashville area, executives said. Itâ€™s the third Kroger Marketplace in the Knoxville area.
The 124,000-square-foot store is at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue. Itâ€™s the companyâ€™s fifth store in Oak Ridge, and itâ€™s in a new shopping center named the Westcott Center in honor of Ed Westcott, the official U.S. government photographer here during the top-secret Manhattan Project in World War II.
Kroger said the new store created 270 jobs and will employ a total of 375 workers, including those moving from the previous store on South Illinois Avenue.
The new grocery store features larger bakery, dairy, deli, meat, and seafood sections, as well as a produce section that includes organic and local produce. There are 22 check-out registers and more than 46 aisles.
Thereâ€™s also a Baby World, bistro, floral shop, Fred Meyer Jewelers, fresh sushi, Little Clinic, Murrayâ€™s Cheese Shoppe, a pharmacy with two drive-through windows, a Starbucks, and SunTrust Bank. There are also home and kitchen, bed and bath, and office and school supply sections, as well as apparelâ€”a first for Kroger Marketplace.
There is also a Kroger Fuel Center.
Sundayâ€™s grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Former University of Tennessee Volunteers football coach Phillip Fulmer took part in that, and he signed autographs afterward. During the ceremony, Kroger donated $5,000 to the Emory Valley Center for their capital campaign to build a new facility.
Kroger is one of the nationâ€™s largest retail grocery chains.Â The company operates 90 stores and 74 Fuel Centers in the Nashville Division of Kroger, which includes the Knoxville and Oak Ridge area.