Heard on the Street: Fareway to close Rochester store and build in Byron


Heard on the Street: Fareway to close Rochester store and build in Byron

Jeff Kiger

Byron’s gain is Rochester’s loss.

Fareway, the Boone, Iowa-based grocery store chain, announced earlier this year that it plans to build an about 20,000-square-foot grocery store with an attached liquor store in southeast Byron.

The other shoe dropped on Tuesday, when the grocery retailer added that Rochester’s Fareway store will close in August.

Fareway describes the shift as “relocating” the Rochester store to Byron. The chain is making similar closures/new construction relations in Omaha, Neb., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

“All three current locations have served an important role in Fareway’s expansion into these states and we are furthering our commitment in these communities with additional investments,” according to a statement by Fareway Corporate Outreach & Communications Manager Emily Toribio.

The Rochester store opened in a 24,500-square-foot space at 3964 East Frontage Road NW in the Maplewood Square shopping center in 2013. That’s part of the former Rainbow Foods store.

It opened with a staff of about 100 employees. Toribio’s statement says that the company will attempt to keep the staff between the August closing and the expected opening of the new Byron store in 2020.

“All existing employees will have an opportunity to transfer to a nearby location until the new store opens,” according to the statement.

For the Rochester employees, the nearest Fareway is the Stewartville store, which opened in 2009.

The new store will be located on a 4-acre parcel is located in the southeastern part of Byron, off Fourth Street NE, near Opportunity Services.

“New construction will provide for architectural changes that include elevated entrances, brick exterior, and generous parking spaces. Once inside the store, customers will experience in-store fixture changes, natural light through additional windows, expanded category sections and efficient store layout for ease of shopping,” according to Fareway’s statement.

The Fareway model emphasizes friendly service, including always carrying groceries to a customer’s car. It focuses on maintaining an extensive, old-style meat department.

Byron has been without a traditional grocery store since the convenience store chain Kwik Trippurchased the Byron Market Place store and gas station at 863 High Point Drive NE in early 2019.

That store and attached liquor store are now Kwik Trip properties.

Source: https://www.postbulletin.com