Ukrop's stores to close for one week

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The clock is ticking on the Ukrop's name. Today the company's new owner announced plans to close the Ukrop's stores for a week of remodeling.

The new company is spending many millions of dollars on this project, and it's not just about changing the name from Ukrop's to Martin's. Shoppers can expect a new look on the inside, as well.

Shoppers will check out a whole lot more than their groceries following a week-long renovation that begins at all Ukrop's stores later this month.

"We'll have armies of people in there including local contractors that are going to resurface the stores,  kind of give them a deep cleaning all the way through," said Jim Scanlon, Martin's Regional Vice President.

Each of the stores -new and old- will close for one week. Though, not all at once.

"We'll have no more than 4 stores down, possibly 5 down at any one time. And our intent is to try to get it so that they're spread out geographically so you'll still be able to go to the Ukrop's store down the street, while the Martin's store is being renovated," said Scanlon.

During that time, crews will upgrade the lighting, install new signs, and bring new tables and chairs to all of the cafes. Wireless internet and self-checkout lanes will also go in the stores that don't currently have them.

Company leaders expect shoppers to be impressed, but they're up against a tough and loyal crowd.

"It can't get better. To me, you know, 'cause Ukrop's quality is there," said shopper Lorraine Williams.

"I don't think they really need to change anything. I like it the way it is," said Beverly Schools.

Shoppers didn't seem to want change - except for this idea:

"I think they ought to change the doors a little bit. Make more doors, and you know, go in the corner part," said James Meador.

If anything, Martin's is hoping to open the door toward a newer and brighter future - in the retail grocery business.

"It'll have a bit of a pop to it," said Scanlon.

For competitive reasons, the company is not being specific about when each store will close. Customers will find out one to two weeks ahead of time via signs posted where they shop.

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