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Smiths facility, merchandise get a makeover

Smiths facility, merchandise get a makeover

May 2, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The store's director said most of the construction work will take place overnight.

Smith's Food and Drug store director James Kraft says customers will notice quite a few changes to the building at 1200 W. Main St. over the next couple of months.

"They'll walk in the front door and definitely know we're in the middle of a remodel," Kraft said. "The ceiling is torn open right now, (and there are) Conex boxes right outside with all the equipment."

He said the work shouldn't be disruptive for customers, however, as most of the construction will take place overnight, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.

"We'll be keeping our floors clear so (customers) have the best shopping experience we possibly can offer at these times," Kraft said. "Our customer service will still be the best available in Riverton. That part won't change."

The project will include a "new lineup" in the bakery, produce, dairy, meat and frozen foods sections, he said, and other grocery and non-food items will be re-merchandised as well.

"The exciting part for me is we have the potential to bring in more variety and different items for our customers that they've been asking for," Kraft said. "We definitely will be able to offer our customers an updated shopping experience."

The opportunity will require more help at the store, he said, explaining that he already has hired some extra employees in preparation for the remodel.

"Increased merchandising and the different tasks (will) be assigned to our associates down the road," Kraft said.

The building's décor will be upgraded as well, he continued, describing a new "core package" on the walls of each department. He said people who have been in the Smith's in Casper will recognize the new design.

"The package they did in Casper last year is the same (one) they'll offer us here," Kraft said. "It will have a different appeal to it. It'll definitely be an updated look."

According to Kraft, it has been roughly 18 years since Smith's was remodeled.

"It was due," Kraft said.

The decision to upgrade the building was not made locally, and Kraft was unable to disclose the cost of the project, but he said it will be "quite expensive." The facility will not be expanded as a result of the work, he added.

"It is the same square footage," Kraft said. "We'll be staying within the walls."

The project began on Sunday evening and is expected to last 10 weeks. Kraft encouraged anyone interested in the work to stop by during the remodel.

"It's fun to watch the building change as they go through the process," he said. "I invite everybody up to take a look."

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