It was a long process, but Myers Group CEO Tyler Myers said a lease was signed and downtown Juneau can look forward to an improved grocery store called Foodland IGA.
The Washington State-based retail and real estate management firm purchased Alaskan & Proud and Friday inked the deal for the 47,000-square-foot space in Foodland Plaza.
“As of this morning we finally got everything taken care of,” Myers said by phone from Seattle. He’d visited Juneau a couple of weeks ago and said he liked what he saw. All of the store’s employees told him they wanted to stay on, he said.
Myers said he has plans for renovations, and for the expansion and addition of some departments.
He said that work will be relatively simple to accomplish and add to the store’s value to the community. He expects to start renovating within the existing space within six months to a year. He said he expects the store will be contained within the leased space without expanding to other parts of the building.
Gary Rosenberger of Foodland, Inc. confirmed the deal on Friday.
“Our family is truly pleased with the results of our search for a new operator to anchor the Foodland Center,” he said in a prepared release. “The Myers Group seems to have exactly the right experience, skills and approach to their business that will make them a perfect fit for us and Juneau. Their commitment to upgrading the store and their successful grocery business tells us they are highly motivated to provide a community driven shopping experience.”
Myers group is based in Clinton, Wash., and runs five other grocery stores, as well as three service stations, three TrueValue Hardware outlets and two other retail businesses. It began in 1978 with one grocery store and has grown into a retail management company that also offers support services to start-ups and shopping center developers, among other services.
Myers said the business will remain active in the community. “We love being a staple in our community. We continually participate in scholarship programs for the local high schools, sponsor community programs, host food bank & pet shelter drives, and give back to our communities as much as we can. Many of our weekly promotions are geared towards helping out the community.”
John Williams of Juneau Real Estate brokered the deal and personally toured some Myers Group stores to inspect their quality. “Tyler Myers is an experienced retailer — a quality guy and someone who knows how to empower those around him to provide the best possible shopping experience for their customers,” he said in a prepared release.
Williams said Alaska Marine Lines played a key role in the deal by suggesting the Myers Group as a possible business to take over the store.
Current store hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. An inventory will take place Sept. 8 while the store is open, current co-owner Suzanne Williams of Alaskan & Proud has said. Myers said new inventory will arrive to the emptying shelves on Sept. 10.
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