Fresh St. Market has opened a new store in Kamloops, B.C.—the retailer’s sixth and largest location to date.
The 38,000-sq.-ft. store is located in repurposed space left vacant when Sears closed in 2017. “We always wanted to expand Fresh St. Market, and three years ago, a number of Sears locations came to our attention and one of them was Kamloops,” says Mark McCurdy, vice-president of retail operations & brand strategy at Georgia Main Food Group, which owns Fresh St. Market. “We did our research and it showed the market was open and viable for us and that the location of the Aberdeen Mall in Kamloops was a perfect bulls eye on the map. So, we proceeded to move forward with our plan.”
While the original goal was to open the store in the summer of 2020, the team decided in April to postpone the opening until early 2021. However, when summer came and went, they revisited the plan and decided to proceed with a fall 2020 opening. “We knew more about the pandemic and we knew that if we opened a store, we would remain open because we’re an essential service to the community,”
Like other Fresh St. Market stores, the Kamloops store has a wide range of fresh meats, fish, produce and cheese, as well as a bakery and ready-to-eat meals. As it’s a bigger location, there is a broader range of grocery items. “We felt that the community would want to have the opportunity to do a full family shop, so we brought in more groceries than we ever have,” says McCurdy.
Another aspect that’s different is the meat department is located right at the front entrance and is connected to the restaurant, Fork Lift Kitchen & Bar, which is scheduled to open next summer. The idea was to have a correlation and tie in with the meat department and the restaurant, which cooks up items like in-house hand-smashed burgers, street tacos and signature noodle soups.
The street-level store has outside access and mall access. “We designed so that no matter which direction you come in, you’ll enter into a fresh offering,” says McCurdy.