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Dierbergs’ newest store is not a typical Dierbergs, and that’s exactly how the St. Louis-based retailer planned it.
Dierbergs will open its long-awaited Des Peres store in suburban St. Louis with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning. The grocer's new flagship supermarket, located on the south side of Manchester Road, one mile east of Interstate 270, is a free-standing 75,000-square-foot store. It sits on about 6.5 acres, occupying a full city block. HBD Construction is the general contractor for the project, which began in 2009.
The store includes three levels, including a mezzanine dining area. It has the distinction of being St. Louis County’s only supermarket with covered parking, with space for 175 cars and 40 percent of the perimeter exposed to natural light. Illustrations and drawings by local artists decorate the outer walls and interior columns, creating a bright, weather-resistant place to park. Two escalators take customers to and from the main level of the store while a third cart-dedicated conveyor—the “cartolator”—moves customer carts from the main level to the garage.
The cart conveyor presented a unique supermarket challenge. “Prior to our store, cartolators could not accommodate a bottom cart shelf for large packages,” said Dierbergs President Greg Dierberg. “That’s a huge inconvenience for customers. We’re now the first supermarket in the U.S. that has a bottom shelf cart that can be used on a conveyor.”
The garage also allowed Dierbergs to dedicate about 23 percent of its acreage to landscaped green space, including a green streetscape running the length of the store along Manchester Road. Further, the new supermarket is the first store in the metro area to have a rainwater harvesting tank. The cistern holds 45,000 gallons of rainwater collected from the roof that will be used to irrigate grass and landscaping.
“When we opened our Arnold store in 2008, we introduced a variety of energy-management programs, like enclosed beer and dairy cases, and energy efficient, motion-controlled LED lighting, all of which can be found in our Des Peres location,” Dierberg said. “We build on our sustainability efforts with every new store.”
The surface lot entrance of the new store opens into the Farmer’s Market Hall that emphasizes fresh local and organic produce. Other features: a bigger, better deli with new made-fresh offerings; an expanded Whole Life department with natural, organic and gluten-free products; a fresh bakery with a European pastry chef; full-service meat and seafood departments with expanded product offerings; unmatched grocery variety; and a pharmacy and florist.
“Our intent was to meet and then exceed customer expectations of what makes a store a Dierbergs store,” Dierberg said. “So we focused on areas of growing interest such as meal convenience, wine selection, culinary education, and health and wellness. The result is a store designed not only to be shopped but also experienced.”
Other new features:
- Three French Hens: The popular Wildwood boutique, known for European antiques, home furnishings and accessories, is opening a store in a shared space with Dierbergs Florist and Gifts, the No. 1 FTD florist in Missouri.
- A full-time cheesemonger oversees an expanded domestic and international cheese section.
- Premium steak cuts of dry-aged beef, in addition to its all-natural line of USDA Choice, Midwest-raised Angus beef.
- St. Luke’s Convenient Care: An in-store facility staffed by nurse practitioners to treat minor illnesses and injuries, open seven days a week.
- A dedicated on-site wellness team, with representatives from Dierbergs Pharmacy, St. Luke’s Convenient Care, Dierbergs Whole Life Department and Dierbergs Culinary Event Center. The group is charged with a variety of wellness initiatives, from healthy-eating programs to culinary assistance for individuals with specific dietary restrictions.
- Remote pharmacy drive-through in the covered parking area.
- The Evening Tap: Wine by the glass and bottled beer sold from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily on the mezzanine.
- Wine-tasting dispensers allow shoppers to purchase 1-, 2- and 4-ounce samples from a list of 28 wines.
- Mezzanine-level entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Asian grill and sushi bar
- Freshly baked panini and pizzettas
- Smoked-on-premises barbecue
- All-you-can-eat pancakes on Saturday mornings.
When Dierbergs Manchester store opened in 1978, it boasted the first supermarket cooking school in the country, a product of Bob Dierberg’s long-held understanding that cooking starts in the supermarket. That concept thrives at Dierbergs Des Peres in the form of a one-of-a-kind culinary gathering place with cooking classes, wellness programs, interactive wine tastings and events, and group programs.
With history dating back to 1854, Dierbergs Markets is now a fourth-generation, family-owned business operating 24 St. Louis metropolitan-area stores with more than 4,000 associates.