Roundup: Kohl’s ‘rightsizing’ in Speedway, a Marsh replacement, and Kilwins Chocolates on Mass

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Kohl’s Corp. shoppers–even the most loyal ones–will soon be seeing a little less of the retailer’s Speedway store.

That’s because the store, at 5660 Crawfordsville Road, is part of the retailer’s “rightsizing” initiative in which Kohl’s is reducing the size of some of its stores, then leasing or selling the excess space.

Wisconsin-based Kohl’s announced the initiative last August. At the time, the retailer identified two stores where it planned to shrink its operating footprint by about one-third. An 89,000-square-foot Warner Robbins, Georgia, store and an 87,000-square-foot store in Fort Smith, Arkansas, both of which would each be reduced to 62,000 square feet.

Kohl's also said it had slimmed down 300 of its other stores by reducing inventory and adjusting store fixtures to make the locations “operationally smaller” within their existing footprints. Another 200 will get that treatment this year. The retailer also highlighted 12 small-format stores it has opened in the past two years, each of which occupies only 35,000 square feet.

In an update last month, Kohl’s announced it would right-size another dozen stores this year, partnering with the discount grocery chain Aldi to take excess space at five to 10 of those locations.

Kohl's hasn't announced which stores are on this year's rightsizing list, but a construction permit was filed Monday for the Crawfordsville Road store, and the permit describes the project as “Kohl’s rightsizing improvements.”

Kohl's did not respond to IBJ phone calls or e-mails on Wednesday, but an employee of the Speedway store confirmed its footprint is being reduced. There’s no word yet whether Aldi will be taking over the excess space at the Speedway store. IBJ contacted an Aldi representative on Wednesday afternoon but had not received an answer as of Thursday morning.

Kohl’s operates more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. The company also operates five e-commerce fulfillment facilities, the newest of which opened last year in Plainfield.

A few other brief items to round things out:

— The former Marsh Supermarkets store at the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and Stop 11 Road will soon return to life as a Viet Hua Food Market. Viet Hua, which sells produce, meat, live seafood and other Asian grocery items, also has a store at 6336 E. 82nd St. on the city’s north side. A manager there told IBJ the south-side store should open in about a month. The space has been vacant since Marsh closed in March 2017.

Viet Hua will face some competition from neighboring Saraga International Grocery, whose store at 2308 E. Stop 11 Road is right across the street. Saraga sells grocery items from Asia, the Middle East, South America and other parts of the World. Saraga also has a store at 3605 Commercial Drive in the Lafayette Square area, as well as a Columbus, Ohio location.

— In other grocery-related news, Under the Sun Discount Market is opening its second Indianapolis location at 3802 N. Illinois St. The market will have its grand opening on Saturday. Under the Sun also has an near-east-side location, at 2400 Roosevelt Ave.

And to finish things off, something sweet:

— Petoskey, Michigan-based Kilwins Chocolates Franchise Inc. will open its first Indianapolis store at 500 Mass Ave. early next year. The 1,500-square-foot store will be inside Penrose on Mass, the mixed-use residential and retail development now under construction.

“This Kilwins will offer a full selection of fine chocolates, made-in-store confections like fudge, caramel apples, caramel corn and brittle, and our original recipe ice cream,” Kilwins spokesman Ron Brunette told IBJ in an e-mail. The local franchisees are Andy and Robin Schoentrup.

Kilwins’ only other Indiana store is in South Bend, though Brunette said the company “would absolutely love to open other stores in the area.”

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