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Archive for Friday, August 17, 2012

Highly anticipated opening of new Dillons set for Sunday

Workers put the finishing touches on grocery displays Friday at the new Dillons store at 1740 Mass. The store is set to open its doors to the public at 7 a.m. Sunday.

Workers put the finishing touches on grocery displays Friday at the new Dillons store at 1740 Mass. The store is set to open its doors to the public at 7 a.m. Sunday.

August 17, 2012

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Dillons sneak peek

Steve Birchfield, manager of Dillons on Massachusetts Street, talks about the new store prior to its grand opening Sunday. Enlarge video

An Dillons employee gets things set for the grand opening of the new store at 1740 Mass.

An Dillons employee gets things set for the grand opening of the new store at 1740 Mass.

The new Dillon's store at 1740 Mass. will have a great array of fresh, local produce.

The new Dillon's store at 1740 Mass. will have a great array of fresh, local produce.

Dillons employee Mike Kutsch helps stock a cold case in the new Dillons, 1710 Mass., on Friday.

Dillons employee Mike Kutsch helps stock a cold case in the new Dillons, 1710 Mass., on Friday.

Dapper Dillons.

As leaders of the grocery store chain work to put the final touches on their new store at 17th and Massachusetts, they wouldn’t mind at all if that becomes the new nickname for what they’re touting as a state-of-the-art city market.

“This is going to be a nice store for any part of town,” said Steve Birchfield, store manager for the multimillion-dollar grocery that opens on Sunday. “We know that our previous store here might have been a little maligned and called Dirty Dillons, but I promise we’re turning that around in a big way.”

Area residents will get a chance to see for themselves as the store opens at 7 a.m. Sunday. Store officials will host several city and area leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Sunday.

At a media tour on Friday afternoon, company officials provided a sneak peek at the store. Among the highlights:

• About 10,000 square feet of additional space compared with the 1960s-era store that was razed last year.

• New amenities, including a Starbucks coffee shop, a sandwich grill, a Chinese deli, a sushi bar and an outdoor dining area along Massachusetts Street.

• A dedicated organic food section.

• An expanded pharmacy with a drive-thru off New Hampshire Street.

Store officials will spend most of Sunday’s ribbon cutting — which will include Baby Jay, the Kansas University cheerleaders and free food samples — touting all that is going on at the store. But store leaders also hope shoppers notice what’s not going on at the store, namely most of the building’s overhead lights.

The store has about 50 skylights, and on Friday the store was fully lit with only about 10 percent of the light fixtures turned on. The store is a prototype design when it comes to energy efficiency, and includes special sensors to control its utility bills and coolers with smart chip technology designed to cut down on energy usage.

“This store is 30 percent more efficient on an energy usage per square foot level than the previous store was,” said Scott Rooks, an energy engineer for Dillons. “That ends up being a very significant number for us.”

The store also is aiming to divert from the landfill or incinerator about 90 percent of all the waste the store produces. The store is the first Dillons store in the country to offer single-stream recycling receptacles throughout the store, said Sheila Lowrie, a spokeswoman for the company.

The Lawrence store also will feature unique signs, including pictures of area farmers who have grown food that is sold in the store. Lowrie said it is part of an effort to highlight efforts to stock the store with regional products as much as possible.

“We have definitely heard from our customers that they are looking for more local produce,” Lowrie said.

The green features of the store have Dillons leaders excited because they believe the ideas in the Lawrence store can be transferred over to new stores the company will build in the future. But Birchfield said he thinks customers are going to be most impressed with the wider array of services offered at the store. The old store largely included just a fried chicken counter and salad bar, in addition to the standard grocery features.

“I think the Starbucks is going to be very popular,” Birchfield said.

The store also will include an artisan cheese shop that will offer about 100 cheeses, an olive bar and a large bulk foods section that will include grinders to make your own peanut or almond butter.

The various new departments have boosted employee totals at the store. The store will employ about 200 people, up from about 90 at the old store, Birchfield said.

Comments

scopi_guy 1 year, 8 months ago

I mostly shop at HyVee. The main difference is the staff.

If there's ever more than 2 carts at a check-out waiting, managers jump in to open new lanes and start checking customers themselves and/or get others to help out. Doesn't seem to matter what department employees normally work in, when lines start to form, it turns into all hands on deck to prevent long waits.

At Dillon's? The lines can grow halfway down the frozen food aisle and all you get are dirty looks from the employees wandering around or hanging around the "courtesy" desk.

They aren't the cheapest grocery in town, but have some pretty decent specials. And their parking is a lot better than the Dillon's on 23rd and west 6th.

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Rex Hargis 1 year, 8 months ago

N Lawrence had a grocery store. It was across the street from Johnny's. It was poorly kept up and not very well shopped. I think it closed around '80.

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maybeso 1 year, 8 months ago

Thrilled for East Lawrencians about the new Dapper Dillons. As for me, one word: CHECKERS! Also, when on earth will North Lawrence ever get a grocery store?? Seriously.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 8 months ago

Self-checkouts are such a convenience that I'd pay more to use them. That way I won't get stuck in line behind some crabby self-righteous duffer buying bad produce.

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colorado 1 year, 8 months ago

One never knows what can happen in life. Divorce,illness, job loss, company failure, crash as in 2008 and many like events before...define rich, define poor....one minute your good...the next...not so much..stuff happens

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Ralph Gage 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow! Great store. Everyone will want one within walking distance. Mega traffic problems today but heck-- what would you expect? Way to go, Dillons!

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53girl 1 year, 8 months ago

I went to the Grand Opening...whew! Too many cars trying to park. The lot is much smaller than I thought it would be. But I am so glad it it open again; what a pain in the butt going clear over to 23rd street! One thing I noticed tho, is that the amenities are way too fancy for all of us "poor folk on the East side"! Hahaha

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smitty 1 year, 8 months ago

Just got back from a visit,,,Love the natural food area. Large bulk section!! Some of my regular weekly items are on sale or lower than what I have been paying. There is going to be a shift of where my $$ goes if they can keep it up. Walking distance too!! Major food court. There was no more room in the lot of area streets for parking so how are they going to hold a farmers market too?? It's so busy there is a line to exit the parking lot today.

Love getting excited over a local happening that influences my life positively.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

Wilbur is betting that the goal is to compete with HyVee. The good thing about HyVee is that one does not need that stupid "card" like the Dillons has the "Dillons" card.

Now if Dillons were smart marketers and would get the boneheads out of corporate offices they might figure out that the Dillons card could be used for self checkouts. Now that would be an incentive to take a percent off just for using the "card'> But then again, someone who is not using is penalized. I say just get rid of the card and mark the prices and all is equal.

Cannot wait to see how short it will be before half of the checkout lanes are closed, how long the entrance is dirty. Look at the 23rd st store, it is dirty in front, the parking lot needs to be power washed.

This is fluff and more fluff in the beginning. The shelves are stocked, the vendors are cramming as much into the building in hopes that it will sell, and then the next go round will have 3 bottles of sauce on the shelf when it can hold 6.

The building is nice, the overhead is going to be costly. The service desk is "hidden' when one enters. Why?

Now then the toilets are right near the entrance so that is good for the homeless. That was a no brainer and Loring Henderson is glad for that I am sure.

The seating inside is nice near the windows, but it doesn't have the accomodations that HyVee on 6th street has for eating in. I suspect Dillons' on Mass doesn't want to many at any given time in the store "lounging' as does HyVee allow.

Wait and see. The good thing is that there is a new building, all designed to be in later years chopped up into several retail outlets, just as was done with Kmart, just as was done with Food 4 Less, just as will be done with Sears(aka old Walmart) and next will be JC Penney,divided when the Mercado opens out west and the retail moves farther west.

The surrounding neighbors now feel as if they have arrived in Leawood with the fancy store and have long forgotten about the fuss over parking and the drive up pharmacy. Do they really think Dillons cared what they thought? Not really, but they were pampered. Now the real pampering comes with the customers which Dillons will need bigtime to sustain that operation at 1700 Mass.

And all of that Deli Food conveniently labled, eligible for Food Stamps. Great!

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JackMcKee 1 year, 8 months ago

So the last five times I've purchased avocados at Hyvee on CP they've gone bad in one day. I bought some taters a week ago. They sprouted in days. Whoever said you can find ground buffalo, sushi rice etc at Hyvee is an absolute idiot. You can't. The store does it's best. It has to cater to students living off of $15 per week in grocery money (so they can afford $200 bar tabs), young families living day to day (there's even some section 8 housing on the west side - gasp) , and the stereotypical wealthy west siders. I don't blame the store. I blame the piss poor job of planning that Lawrence has done. Let's just stick stuff randomly all over the place is their mantra. It sucks. Thus the reason that strategy isn't adopted very often.

Lawrence is a silly town run by people that would be the village idiots in most other cities.

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traveler12 1 year, 8 months ago

I love how the opening of the new store is timed perfectly for the arrival of new students.

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akt2 1 year, 8 months ago

Whole pineapples 10 for $10.

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irvan moore 1 year, 8 months ago

just got back from checking out the new store, wow. they did a really nice job, it's a happening, people everywhere, good job dillons, even got to see and visit with oew

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colorado 1 year, 8 months ago

We are so fortunate to live in this community. Our downtown is not a blight... Old things are made new and valued. Good job Dillons! The store is beautiful. Unfortunate there has not been investment interest in opening a grocery store in North Lawrence. Very smart for the new dollar store to pop up in that location..but not the same of a full store.

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Alceste 1 year, 8 months ago

frankie8: Does anyone remember back in the day when Weavers was right next to Dillions and there was a drug store next. Then Dilions bought both stores and had all that extra space? I thought it was HUGE. It's hard to believe that Weavers was in such a small space.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ It was a dry goods store, but not Weavers. Alceste believes it was Calhouns. Too, it was a Rainey's drug store with a great little neighborhood diner like counter "in the back".

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brewmaster 1 year, 8 months ago

The opening of the new Dillions store in Lawrence, KS. is so surreal. Its epic!! Its biblical!! It is a defining moment in human history!! Oh, I almost forgot...can we get a mop-up in aisle two for that pickle jar spill.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

Just to clarify, my previous post was not an attack against Dillons. Just against self checkouts. Wherever they may be.

I'll shop at Dillons, but I will always use a cashier and get what I pay for. Just as I will at any store that has self checkouts.

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mitavanam 1 year, 8 months ago

I'll miss the vibe of the old building but I'm glad Dillons is still on Mass. It was a drag to shop on 23rd.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

I like the number of new trees......

The skylights have to be cool...

Self serve just about anything eliminates jobs. Simply because one may be employed today is no indication one will be tomorrow. Not in the USA.

Jobs are good for the economy.

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lohrewok 1 year, 8 months ago

I love self-checkouts! They are one of the main reasons I will pick Dillions over Hy-vee every time. I seem to always pick a line where I'm waiting so self-checks are often a much quicker option for me.

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grammaddy 1 year, 8 months ago

Yay!! I no longer have to go through that pitiful little speed trap by Haskell to get to the grocery store!! Now if they could just finish the bridge.

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traveler12 1 year, 8 months ago

I completely agree with classclown. I hate self-checkouts! The bad news is, while other chains (like Walmart in other markets) have been phasing out their self-checkouts, Dillons/Kroger is expanding them. Kroger does not understand what a pain they are to use. They are such an inconvenience. So yes Dillons may have pretty new stores, and they might be very friendly to the local politicians and newspaper, but it doesn't negate the fact that they are anti-service. The truth is, as stated above, part of the cost of the food and other items is intended to cover the cost of a cashier. These self-checkouts are taking away jobs, taking away convenience, and making Kroger (the largest supermarket chain in the United States) that more corporate and impersonal. Make no mistake: Dillons is no green, environmentally-conscious, good-corporate-steward company. They are the very embodiment of colorless, faceless corporatocracy.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

Concerning Jack's remarks about self checkouts, I refuse to use them. Part of the price you pay for every single item in the store is meant to pay the wage of someone to check me out at the register.

If I have to do the work myself, then I should get a discount of the price of all the goods I buy but I don't. By using the self checkout, you are paying a business money in order to pay a wage to another person. However the company does not use it to pay a wage to anyone but pockets that money instead.

In essence, those of you that use the self checkout are paying too much for the items you buy..

P.T. Barnum was right.

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KUGreenMachine 1 year, 8 months ago

Dillons winning formula: Nice new store... Same crappy service.

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Catalano 1 year, 8 months ago

I hope Sharon shows up at the grand opening. I ran into her a few weeks ago and she's been working at the Dillon's at 6th & Wakarusa as it's much closer to her home and she's decided to stay there. I told her no matter how great the new Dillon's was that it wouldn't be the same without her. She is the best! Hope George comes back, too.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

Does anyone remember back in the day when Weavers was right next to Dillions and there was a drug store next. Then Dilions bought both stores and had all that extra space? I thought it was HUGE. It's hard to believe that Weavers was in such a small space.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 8 months ago

Jack the main problem with Hyvee is that it costs an arm and a leg more than any other grocery store in town. Some items can be as much as double the cost for the exact same thing.

I am always baffled to see the Hyvee on 6th packed full and then the Dillon's at 6th and Wak mostly empty.

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lunacydetector 1 year, 8 months ago

it wasn't called 'dirty dillons' because it was old and dirty. it was called 'dirty dillons' because of the unkept clientele that frequented the store. if a person slept in their clothes and didn't bathe, it was another option instead of one of the walmarts.

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chili86103 1 year, 8 months ago

PS - I loved my Dillons! I only wish there was one near my present home! I miss the smell of chicken and great glazed donuts!

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chili86103 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank you, Dillons! I worked at the old store for 10 years, over 15 years ago, and enjoyed the clientele it generated. The building needed a remodel years ago, but out of community respect, they held off closing the doors of the nearby renting-businesses. In addition, needing more parking to expand was a big concern. They would have had to buy out local residents to accommodate the city planners, etc. Dillons, you worked your magic and again produced a beautiful, community-minded store. Congratulations and best wishes for your success again on Mass Street. This is a much needed and truly deserved store for such a fine neighborhood and hometown.

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traveler12 1 year, 8 months ago

Ain't nothing like free press & lazy reporting, right LJWorld? Eh? Am I right? How much did Dillons pay you to print this article? Ha!

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JackMcKee 1 year, 8 months ago

The poor East siders are lucky, Dillons is a vastly superior grocery store to Hyvee. The "rich" West sider's Hyvee on C.P. lacks numerous items after the remodel. It's amazing that they could increase the size of the store, yet decrease the variety of higher end items. Some of them aren't even that exotic. For example, Safflower oil. I use that to fry and for grilling. Is at Hyvee on C.P.? Nope. Dillons has it. Hyvee does have lots of gross olive oil and 50 varieties of canola oil, though. I have to go the Mediterranean Market for Olive Oil. Want sushi rice? Not at Hyvee. Looking for ground buffalo? Nope. Frozen crab legs? Try somewhere else. A decent filet? They have some weird steak "glued" together with blood. Self checkout? Forget it at Hyvee. Hyvee frequently runs out of things and their produce is questionable. If you want ramen noodles, though, Hyvee is your spot. They have about 500 different kinds of beef, shrimp and chicken flavored noodles. You'd think the margins on a $.30 package of ramen noodles would be dwarfed by a decent filet, but I guess if you sell enough ramen it makes sense? Maybe it's just a poorly run store.

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overplayedhistory 1 year, 8 months ago

I think Simon should be there, with his "Thats my Dillons" T-shirt and socks on his hands. It wouldn't make it dirty, just nostalgic. Simon and the not so dirty Dillons, will always occupy the same space in my memory, no matter what they build.

Tangential side bar: Anyone know whatever happened to Vic the Barbarian?

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Glenn Reed 1 year, 8 months ago

Yay! I'm gonna have a grocery store within walking distance again!

Though... I was a bit concerned when they first started the demolition....

http://morichalion.com/cms/wp-content/gallery/gallery-test/outsourced-labor.jpg

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irvan moore 1 year, 8 months ago

dillons made a very substansial investment in our neighborhood and is an anchor that benefits those of us who appreciate it and also benefits those who don't

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 months ago

Dillons is an example of how a business should interact with their community. Instead of coming in and saying, we are going to build this, here's the plan, we could care less if you like it, they talked to the community and changed their plans to help give the neighborhood what they wanted. Thanks to Dillons for being a part of a community. And thanks for providing so many jobs. And thanks for making your store more energy efficient. I'm looking forward to shopping there.

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Abdu Omar 1 year, 8 months ago

But no BANK!! Why? People at Babcock and the surrounding area need to have a bank close by. Why didn't Dillons put in a bank? The need for a bank is very strong as they cannot walk downtown or go other places for their banking needs. Think about that!!!

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hitme 1 year, 8 months ago

Super Duper...dirty Dillons!

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