CRESSKILL, NJ — Kings Food Markets held a grand re-opening ceremony Oct. 25 at its location, here. The Cresskill store, the second largest of the 25 outlets located in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, is the 10th to undergo a rebranding.
The celebration kicked off in front of the store, a Kings associate sang a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Next, Kings officials and department managers addressed the crowd, thanking those in attendance and briefly discussing their experiences as members of the Kings team.Donations were made to two area charities - the Center for Food Action and Table to Table - before the ceremonial cutting of the pasta ribbon, a Kings tradition, was performed by Cresskill Mayor Ben Romeo.
Once inside, attendees were greeted by a revamped produce and floral department that included a fresh, new layout and some upgraded fixtures.
Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce, floral, seafood and meat for the Parsippany, NJ-based retailer, told The Produce News that while the Cresskill store is not the largest store in the chain, "we are very proud of the extensive offerings we have in this store."
He added that the produce department now has revamped equipment and fixtures, and display tables have been rearranged so they now face customers in order to provide a better view of the product. Also, boxes are being utilized for display purposes to highlight the origin of products.
The 2,000-square-foot department has more varietals and more organic items, which is in response to customer feedback, said Kneeland.
He added the Kings is offering more fresh-cut items, many of which are being prepared in-house by Kings associates.
"Our labor costs are higher on our fresh-cut items, but our customers like it because they feel like they are getting fresher product and are getting more personal service over commercial fresh-cut items," he said.
Tom Dubrowski, produce manager at the Cresskill location, said that in addition to new fixtures, the store added extra shelving on its fruit wall.
Dubrowski echoed Kneeland, in saying that changes that were made were in response to customer feedback.
"We are carrying more organics now, and more local items when they are available, because that is what our customers want," he said.
Additionally, Kneeland said that produce is being utilized in other areas of the store for cross-merchandising purposes.
"For example, we'll use fruit near the cheese department as a way to promote fresh and to prompt impulse sales," said Kneeland. "Likewise, we put Italian bread in our produce department near the display with tomatoes and basil."