The Times They Are A Changin' In The Grocery Business

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 12, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2011 at 5:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Customers shopping at a giant new supermarket in north Fort Wayne can attest to the evolution of the grocery business.

When you visit the store, the phrase that comes to mind, “This is not your father's grocery store”.

The Kroger Marketplace store opened late last month on Dupont Road, offering far more than food and toiletry items that are commonly associated with the supermarket industry.

The new Kroger offers a variety of household goods, including bedding, sofas and other furniture.

On the other side of the store, customers can peruse the soup and sushi bar, and pick up hot food prepared by a chef in the bistro.

The establishment even sells jewelry in one corner.

The early grocery stores around 1900 tended to be small and focused on only one aspect of food retailing, like canned goods or non-perishables.

Chain stores popped into the picture in the 1920's, with the supermarket concept taking over in the 50's.

Customers now are comfortable with, and in fact, often search out big box stores.

George Springer/Likes Large Store Concept: " You got to consider all the factors, the cost of gas and everything nowadays. Why not, one stop."

Don Perry/Big Box Shopper: " WalMart, Sam's Club, Costco, all those places give a black eye to the little guy and that's really too bad, but I do think that people are interested in a place like this, if they can get the price."

The "bigger is better" model isn't likely to go away soon.

Another giant Kroger Marketplace store is scheduled to open in Aboite Township next summer.

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