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Kroger Scraps Plans For Expanded East Peoria Store

East Peoria Kroger
Tim Shelley

It appears Kroger's plans to bring expanded stores to two Peoria-area locations are permanently off.

Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson said the company no longer plans to expand its East Peoria location. He said the expansion there depended upon the approval of a request for a new fuel center, but the city denied the request.

Kroger announced plans to expand the East Peoria location, 201 S. Main St., by about 60% back in 2016. The supermarket chain purchased and demolished a block's worth of homes to make way for the expansion.

Halvorson did dispel rumors the company is considering closing the East Peoria location. He said recent product shortages can be attributed to supply challenges with certain food producers, and numerous job openings at stores throughout central Illinois.

As previously reported, Kroger also canceled plans to open an expanded Marketplace store in the former Kmart at Evergreen Square on Lake Street in Peoria, across the parking lot from its current location.

Kroger Marketplace locations sell products like clothes, furniture, and electronics, in addition to the usual grocery products found at traditional stores.

"We appreciated the excitement associated with the concept, of course, but circumstances have changed in the years since then," said Halvorson in an email. "You can attribute that to our more recent innovations in the grocery business. Advances in ecommerce, such as Kroger Pickup, and expansion of our digital footprint led to the reevaluation in strategy."

Both projects were put on hold in 2018, around the same time Kroger announced it would close its stores at 2321 N. Wisconsin Avenue on the East Bluff, and at 3103 Harmon Highway in the Madison Park Shopping Center in Limestone Township.

Halvorson did say Kroger is proceeding with a $2.97 million dollar renovation of its location at 1550 E. College Ave. in Normal. That includes addition of a new Kroger Pickup area, as well as a new floral section, sushi prep area, and new features in the bakery, deli, meat department, and pharmacy.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.