Foodland reopens under new ownership

By September 11, 2012Business, Community, Economy

Downtown Juneau’s only large-scale supermarket reopened Monday under new ownership. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The sign out front still says Alaskan & Proud, but the new Foodland IGA is now open in the only large-scale grocery space in downtown Juneau.

A & P shut its doors on Saturday. The supermarket stayed closed on Sunday as employees conducted inventory.

It reopened yesterday (Monday), with the Myers Group, LLC as the new owners. Myers Group recently signed a ten-year lease for the space with the Rosenberger family of Juneau, owners of the Foodland Shopping Center.

KTOO’s Casey Kelly has more.

Myers Group President Tyler Myers says the first product shipment came off the barge Monday morning and started hitting store shelves around 10 a.m.

“I imagine that it will take maybe two weeks before we’re fully stocked up,” Myers says. “We have a lot more product coming on the next load. What came in today was just start filling all the holes, get product back on the shelves. But we’ll have quite a bit more coming.”

Myers says the biggest difference customers will notice right away is the switchover to IGA branded products instead of Western Family. But he says there will still be a variety of choices for most items, and in some cases the selection will expand a bit.

“We’ll be bringing in a whole lot more natural and specialty and organic sort of items into the store,” says Myers. “And then from there, it really will be dictated by what the customers tell us they want.”

He says the store will undergo an extensive remodel, starting in about six months to a year. A few changes have been made already, most notably to the produce section.

“[We] moved the bananas to a different area, so that they aren’t close to the cold air. That will give them a longer life and better quality,” he says.

All of A & P’s remaining employees have been retained. But because so many left in recent months, signs posted on the front doors say the store is currently accepting applications.

Jeremy Schoonover is the new store manager. He specializes in opening stores for the Myers Group, most recently on Camano Island in Washington state.

“They had a marching band here yesterday and we received flowers here today,” Schoonover says. “To see people so excited, it gives me goose bumps.”

Schoonover says he’ll be with the Juneau store “however long it takes.”

Myers Group and its wholesaler Super Value sent about a dozen employees to Juneau to stock shelves this week. Schoonover says one thing is making life a little easier for them.

“This store has the largest back room I’ve ever seen,” he says. “So that makes it so much easier, so much more of a relief. Because I can run around and order. I’ve been ordering groceries for so many years, it doesn’t really matter where you’re at, people eat near the same thing.”

Myers Group operates five IGA stores in western Washington, including markets in downtown Seattle and Tacoma. It also runs hardware stores and service stations. This is the company’s first foray into Alaska.

Foodland IGA is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, though Myers says the hours will probably expand once the store adds more products.

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