WINTERSVILLE — “The day is finally here. It’s been a lot of hard work by a lot of wonderful people,” Dale Harvey, store leader for the Wintersville Kroger, told staff and visitors as they celebrated the completion of $2 million in renovations Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Amy McCormick, corporate affairs manager for the Kroger Co., noted she’d received many comments about the brighter look of the store’s new decor, with new lighting in the produce and floral departments contributing to that effect.
She added the remodeling included updated fixtures and additional space for the deli and bakery departments, relocation of the liquor department and expansion of the store’s pickup service.
Kroger District Manager Shawn Simmermon thanked the store’s staff and customers for their patience as crews with Cahill Construction performed a facelift to the 56,349-square-foot building during the last five months.
He noted they worked overnight to ensure the store was prepared for the busy holiday season.
Simmermon said the store’s 140 staff members are vital to its success, a sentiment echoed by Harvey, who is in his 33rd year with the company.
As the Kroger employee at the store with the most years of service to the company, Bill Kuzmich, head of the produce department, was recruited to cut the ribbon.
Kuzmich has been employed by Kroger for 49 years, working previously at stores in Steubenville, where he started as a clerk, Wellsburg, Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville.
Jefferson County Commissioner Tony Morelli was among public officials on hand for the occasion.
“It’s great to see Kroger’s investment in this store. They are a great part of Jefferson County and provide a great service to the community,” he said.
State Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, thanked store management and staff for making a difference in the community.
State Rep. Ron Ferguson, R-Wintersville, said the improvements are part of ongoing upgrades to the business that included the addition of a gas station in recent years.
McCormick noted the store is including customers in the celebration this weekend by inviting them to register to win one of eight $100 Kroger gift cards or take advantage of 20-cent-per-gallon savings on gasoline purchased at its fuel station.