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Editor’s Note: The following PG online exclusive contains companion insights for our March Store of the Month cover story of Brookshire Brothers’ Nacogdoches, Texas, concept store, that illuminates the regional retailer’s fresh approach to value.
PG: What inspired this new store format/concept? What goals did you aim to achieve with this new store?
Eric Johnson, director of construction, Brookshire Brothers: This was a relocation project. The prior store, several blocks away on the same street, was considerably larger, at 55,000 square feet. The new store is much more similar to the company average size (31,633 square feet). Customer comments have been favorable on the new size. Taking the existing building from a shell to open was on a very aggressive timetable. We developed a design that would minimize changes and work with existing conditions. This enabled us to meet the schedule and also proved beneficial to the budget.
PG: What are the store’s unique design features? How do they help establish the store’s identity and reflect the community that it serves?
Johnson: LED lighting is key throughout the design, from the parking lot, gasoline canopy and signs, to the interior in all refrigeration cases and walk-in coolers. The main-store fluorescent lighting features 28-watt lamps and high-efficiency ballasts. The majority of the lighting solutions were furnished by GE Lighting. The existing lay-in ceiling was restored by Pro-Coat to give it a fresh and bright finish without having to replace material. The floor tile was removed, and the concrete stained and polished, which reduces daily floor care and ongoing maintenance expenses.
PG: What have been the most rewarding results to date of the replacement store to date, and conversely, the biggest challenges?
Johnson: Being able to sell things our customers expect has been a positive for us in Nacogdoches. We have a large population of college kids who are from major metropolitan areas. They are at school in a smaller community and are accustomed to more of the convenience foods and the wider variety of fresh foods that are available in their hometown grocery stores. We’re glad we can provide that.