Fred Meyer slated to expand 40 percent

Additional 52,000 square feet will allow for drive-up pharmacy and more clothing, furniture

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2004

Renovations planned for Juneau's Fred Meyer store in 2006 will add more than 40 percent of floor space and turn it into one of the chain's "full-line stores," a corporate officer said.

"It will feel like a new store when it's done," said Mary Loftin, vice president of public relations at the chain's Portland, Ore., headquarters. In addition to new fixtures and new colors, the Juneau store will have more space to provide more from which customers can choose.

A schedule hasn't been finalized, she said, but plans call for the work over 20 weeks to add about 52,000 square feet, expanding the store to about 173,000 square feet, Loftin said. As a matter of comparison, Fred Meyer's east Anchorage store has 169,000 square feet, she said.

As a full-line store, the Juneau outlet off Egan Drive will have a drive-up pharmacy with space inside for consultations, a full apparel section, and "a furniture pad," providing a section with a larger selection of furnishings.

"We'll have full-size departments," she said.

Juneau expansion plans have been tentative for months, but they only received approval within the last few weeks, Loftin said.

She said Juneau Electronics, which leased on the property, had been told of the plans because its building will have to be demolished for parking space.

Kim Ogelsbee, sales manager at Juneau Electronics, said her store moved to its new location on Harbor Way last weekend because of Fred Meyer's expansion plans.

Loftin said Juneau Electronics was "a fabulous tenant" that offered things Fred Meyer didn't stock. It had been there since 1984, when Fred Meyer opened its Juneau store.

Loftin said a new tenant will not be sought to occupy the building, although expansion work won't begin for more than a year.

There will be one other business leasing space inside the expanded store, she said, but wouldn't name it because lease negotiations were ongoing.

"It won't be a retailer," she said.

The store was last remodeled in 1994, Loftin said. In July she told the Empire that the company strives to remodel its stores every 10 years.

Upcoming expansion plans call for space to be added to the two sides of the store, leaving it essentially with the same depth, Loftin said. Most of the expansion will be in the side facing the Mendenhall Valley, although there will be some on the side facing the vehicle entrance to the property and the former Juneau Electronics building.

The larger grocery area is planned to be moved entirely into new space, she said. But the store will remain open during the remodeling and effects on customers will be minimized.

Loftin said she couldn't yet provide details about what the remodeled store will look like, but she said she is sure the company will strive to retain the distinctive appearance of its Juneau outlet.

Juneau's Fred Meyer is the only store in the chain with totem poles greeting customers, she said.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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