STORE SPACES

Report: Kroger to build Atlanta DC

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati — Kroger Co. is reportedly planning to build a $250 million distribution center in the suburban Atlanta area. According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, Kroger will open the 1 million-sq.-ft. facility in the suburb of Forest Park, on the site of the former Fort Gillem army base by September 2015.

The distribution center will open with 700 to 900 skilled workers, and eventually employ about 1,500 people. Kroger declined to comment on the report.

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Lowe’s introduces virtual 3-D room remodeling for customers

BY Marianne Wilson

Mooreseville, N.C. — Lowe’s has launched Lowe’s Innovation Lab, with a goal of creating new technology to solve common consumer frustrations while working alongside start-ups, universities, specialized professionals and other companies. The first concept to come out of the lab is the Lowe’s Holoroom, a home improvement simulator that applies 3D and augmented reality technologies to provide homeowners an intuitive, immersive experience in their dream rooms.

"We know that for many homeowners, the struggle to visualize a completed home improvement project or to share that vision with others can stop a project in its tracks," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. "The Holoroom is our solution, enabling consumers to visualize their project and share that vision with family and friends."

A customer uses the new solution by choosing their preferred products, and then viewing and experiencing the products in the Holoroom. While in the Holoroom, they can make changes to the room design until they are satisfied with the results. They can then take home a printout or view a 3-D model of the room which they can share with others via with a free app available on iOS or Droid devices.

"Lowe’s wants to lead innovation by developing disruptive technologies that will help us establish a long-term competitive advantage," said Nel. "Lowe’s Innovation Labs will allow us to quickly bring in new technology and new partners, explore a wide range of possibilities and identify opportunities to develop concepts like the Holoroom."

SciFutures, a foresight and innovation consultancy, partnered with Lowe’s on the development of the Holoroom.

The Lowe’s Holoroom will be introduced in select Toronto stores in 2014, and equipped with thousands of products to help customers plan a bathroom remodel.

Additional product categories and rooms will be added to the solution in the next 12 to 18 months.

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Cabela’s announces plans for three new stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Sydney, Neb. — Cabela’s Inc. on Wednesday announced plans for three new stores in three new markets: Huntsville, Alabama; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Woodbury, New York.

The 80,000-sq.-ft. Huntsville store will be Cabela’s first Alabama location. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. The store, to be located in the newly planned Parkside Town Centre development, will be built in Cabela’s next-generation layout, designed to surround customers in an outdoor-like experience with a large mountain replica and museum-quality wildlife displays.

In addition to thousands of outdoor products, the store will include an indoor archery range and archery tech room, deli, Gun Library, Bargain Cave and Fudge Shop. It also will include a full-service boat shop and a comprehensive selection of Wildlife and Land Management products, including tractors, attachments and implements.

Construction on the 80,000-sq. ft. Oklahoma City store – Cabela’s first Oklahoma location – is scheduled to begin later this year and the company anticipates a fall 2015 opening. The store will be located in the newly planned Chisholm Creek development will be built in Cabela’s next-generation layout

Construction on the 90,000-sq.-ft. Woodbury store is scheduled to begin in spring 2015 and Cabela’s expects to open the location in spring 2016. It will be Cabela’s second store in New York.

The building’s exterior will reflect Cabela’s popular store model with log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing. A large glass storefront will allow customers to view much of the store’s interior as they approach the building. The interior will be built in Cabela’s next-generation layout.

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