Supermarkets supersized

Greenwood shoppers: in the next few months, expect some big changes at one of your grocery stores.

In addition to building two new locations in Johnson County, Kroger also is expanding its store off U.S. 31, near Worthsville Road. The store, which is currently about 66,000 square feet, will grow to about 100,000 square feet when the expansion is finished, according to plans filed with the city.

Plans call for the larger grocery store to take up the majority of the current shopping center on Independence Drive, meaning other storefronts will have to come down. Nearly 7,000 square feet will remain for other retail shops, according to the plans filed with the city.

Kroger is hoping to begin work this summer, after getting all the approvals needed from the city, Kroger spokesman John Elliott said. The store will remain open during construction, though some departments or products may be moved temporarily to other parts of the store, he said.

The Greenwood store is one of five in the state that Kroger is expanding. The store is about 15 years old, but traffic in the area is expected to greatly increase due to the new Interstate 65 interchange at Worthsville Road. About 38,000 vehicles used U.S. 31 daily in a 2011 traffic study.

Kroger is expanding stores for two key reasons: an increase in customers and products, Elliott said.

Kroger continues to see more customers and needs the added space in multiple stores, including the Greenwood location, he said.

The grocery chain wants to also become a restaurant, where people either eat inside the store or buy food that will be ready to eat when they get home, Elliott said. That has been a rapidly growing trend, and has been a focus of all the expansions of Kroger stores, he said.

The expansion is part of a recent grocery store boom in Johnson County and on the southside, which residents have been asking for for years.

In the last few years, a new Wal-Mart, Aldi and organic stores Fresh Thyme and Earth Fare have been built. A new Costco is under construction on County Line Road, Franklin is getting a new Meijer store and Kroger is building new stores at State Road 135 and Smokey Row Road in Greenwood and off U.S. 31 in Franklin.

Last year, Kroger announced a $464 million plan to build 11 new stores, expand five locations, remodel 17 stores and 22 pharmacies and build 16 gas stations through 2017 in the Indianapolis area. Officials said investing in stores was a key part of remaining competitive. The five store expansions alone were estimated to cost $58 million.

At a glance

Here is a look at expansions and new grocery stores planned around Johnson County:


Independence Drive, Greenwood

Expansion: The store is adding another 33,000 square feet to the existing 66,000 square feet


Smokey Row Road and State Road 135, Greenwood

New store under construction


U.S. 31, Franklin

New Marketplace store under construction


U.S. 31, Franklin

New store planned to be built


County Line Road, Indianapolis

New store under construction

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.