The face of Chattanooga area Bi-Los start changing today with the opening of a new Super Bi-Lo format which officials say is customer-focused.
“This is the answer to questions from our customers,” said company spokesman Curtis Johnson. “Super Bi-Lo has more wide, open spaces, more merchandise and more organic selections.”
The area’s first Super Bi-Lo opens at 8 a.m. today at Ooltewah-Ringgold and East Brainerd roads. The $9 million-plus store is 48,000 square feet, officials said.
The new Super format has more natural foods, certified Angus beef and ready-to-go meals, said regional Vice President Dwayne Goodwin.
Since the store is opening near Valentine’s Day, he said, the floral department will be selling holiday arrangements and balloons, and the bakery will have themed bakery items.
Bi-Lo is paying attention to the details, Mr. Goodwin said, such as offering shredded cheese, packaged chicken and hard-boiled eggs in the bagged lettuce area so customers can assemble a salad with ease.
Staff Photo By Kelly Wegel-- Angie Workman of Bi-Lo stocks shelves with organic foods at the new Super Bi-Lo on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road on Tuesday.
The store also has a hot chicken wing buffet, cafe-seating area with Wi-Fi Internet connection, photo kiosk and drive-through pharmacy. All area Super Bi-Los will be open 24 hours a day, and service departments such as the deli and bakery will have extended hours.
Super Bi-Lo also emphasizes service departments, officials said. The bakery produces custom cakes, the meat department custom cuts meat and the floral department makes custom arrangements.
Bi-Lo is especially pushing certified Angus beef, which is the top 8 percent of the beef in the nation, said Ralph Thompson, sales director of the chain’s meat and seafood division.
The store’s 145 employees have received extensive training with certifications in various techniques, Mr. Goodwin said. The meat department staff have certifications in nutrition and cooking methods, seafood, beef and wine pairing, Mr. Thompson said.
Super Bi-Los also feature computer kiosks that have recipes and medicine and health information, and can create shopping lists, Mr. Goodwin said.
The Ooltewah-Ringgold Road store is Bi-Lo’s 34th regional location, said Mr. Goodwin, a 22-year veteran who first worked with Red Food Store.
Ringgold High School’s band will perform at 7:35 a.m. at the new store. Area leaders will join Bi-Lo executives in cutting a ribbon.
The store will have sales and giveaways to the first 100 customers today through Friday. A “funfest,” featuring games, prizes, raffles and face painting, will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
A store on East Brainerd Road is being remodeled to the Super concept and will reopen in March, while a Super Bi-Lo under construction on Hixson Pike will open in April, Mr. Goodwin previously said.
The Ooltewah Bi-Lo has been partially converted, Mr. Goodwin said, and will be completed by late March or early April. The Red Bank store is being converted to the format as well, officials said.
ABOUT SUPER BI-LO
* Improved product displays
* More organic and natural foods
* Expanded deli and bakery selections
* Extended service hours in “fresh” departments
* National FTD service ordered from the floral department
* Extensive employee training; certification specialty cheeses, baking and meal planning
* Improved restroom appearance; uncluttered sales floors