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Food City Expansion Expected To Be Completed by December

 

By LYDIA BERGLAR
News Editor

When Food City’s Trenton location began work on an expansion project several weeks ago, news quickly spread about the additions that will make the location much more than just a grocery store.

Steve Smith, president and CEO of Food City Inc., told the Sentinel that the project doesn’t have a definitive end date as weather could impact construction, but the goal is to finish by December 2024.

Smith said that the 12,000 square foot expansion will “change the entire look of the store.” After the expansion, the location’s total square footage will be 54,000.

In particular, Smith noted the addition of a Starbucks, fuel station, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union branch, sit-down café with a variety of food options, and expanded selections in every grocery department.

The 36-seat café will have a television and fireplace, with food options that include a salad bar, pizzeria, fresh sushi, wok station, and smoked meats. The pharmacy will also add a drive-thru option for quick and easy pick up.

As explained on the Food City website, the company’s “Gas ‘N Go” fuel centers are part of the ValuCard system. The website reads, “Earn one Fuel Buck for every dollar you spend on groceries, including alcohol, with your ValuCard and redeem your Fuel Bucks for discounts on fuel at any Food City Gas ‘N Go fuel center. Save 15 cents per gallon EVERY DAY with 150 Fuel Bucks (1 Fuel Visit). Save 30 cents per gallon on Wednesdays with 300 Fuel Bucks (2 Fuel Visits).”

Smith said, “Trenton’s been supportive and we wanted to give them the store they deserve.”

The company’s vision to expand has existed for a number of years, but several steps needed to be taken first. Smith explained, “We came to Trenton in 2015 with the acquisition of the Bi-Lo stores. We leased the property.”

Smith explained that at the time of acquisition, a number of locations, including the Trenton location, required some maintenance work that the company focused on first. Then, Food City bought the Trenton building and property in fall 2023, allowing them to begin expansion.

Recently, expansions like this have become common for the company. Smith reported that in the last five or six years, Food City has completed expansions at over thirty stores, and the company is happy with the success. After about ten months of work, one expansion in Chatsworth, Ga. was recently completed, and new locations in Kimball, Tenn. and Gadsden, Ala. just opened within the last few weeks.

The Sentinel inquired about the location’s upcoming hiring needs and the difficulties many employers have faced when recruiting/retaining employees. Smith reported that the store will be looking for about 50-60 additional employees, with 15-17 of those for the Starbucks alone. He expressed confidence in the company’s competitive pay and benefits.

He said, “We’ve found that we’re able to hire the right people,” noting that people of all different ages, life stages, and ability levels round out the Food City staff.

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