I got a sneak peek inside the new Greenwood Fred Meyer on Saturday, as employees work double and triple shifts to get the store ready for its grand opening on Friday, Feb. 1.
The new store is 55,000 square feet larger than the old store, for a total of 192,000 square feet on two levels.
“There is not a store like this in all of Fred Meyer,” Store Director Pete Laudadio said.
Laudadio previously worked at the Issaquah store, but has been with the company since 1990. “I started as the kid who brought the carts in,” he said.
Kevin R. Ruoff, Fred Meyer Human Resource District Coordinator (left), and Greenwood Store Director Pete Laudadio.
Inside the Greenwood Fred Meyer, the Service Deli is bigger than most other Fred Meyers (even bigger than Ballard’s), and Fred Meyer chefs in Portland are formulating some new recipes that will be rolled out first in Greenwood. There’s a special sushi section, a grilling station in the meat department for cooking samples, a huge wine section with a wine steward on duty seven days a week, a gift registry, and a Murray’s cheese shop. Murray’s is a New York cheese company renowned for its customer service.
“What Starbucks is to coffee, Murray’s is to cheese,” Laudadio explained.
Murray’s cheese shop counter.
This will be the first Murray’s in a Fred Meyer store (there are a few in QFCs, including the store at University Village). The Ballard Fred Meyer will get a Murray’s about a month after the Greenwood store opens.
Murray’s flew a Fred Meyer crew out to New York to learn more about the company’s philosophy, and hand-picked the employees who will work in the store’s cheese shop.
The new store’s upper floor comprises groceries, housewares, home entertainment, toys, luggage, sporting goods, pharmacy, and personal needs (including baby items). All of apparel and half of the Home Department is downstairs (furniture, hardware, paint, storage, etc.)
Employees set up furniture in the Home Decor department downstairs.
More than 60 skylights cut down on the need for fluorescent lighting, which will be on sensors to turn the lights down when there’s more ambient light. Grocery cooler aisles have LED lights on sensors, so they’ll turn on when a customer is in the aisle but turn off when no one is there.
Checkstands will be “piggyback” style (like Target stores), with two stands in a row.
Upstairs also has “Euro checkstands,” small manned checkstands with no conveyor belt. They’re designed for customers who only have one or two items without a cart, and are designed to speed up the checkout process. Self-checkout will be between the regular and Euro checkstands.
A line of Euro checkstands.
The main entrance lobby will include a Red Box movie rentals, a U.S. Bank ATM, and a shredding machine that can handle up to 50 pieces of paper at a time. A Starbucks is just inside the main entrance.
A wide staircase is next to the escalators, including a cart escalator.
The company included showers in the downstairs employee restroom area to encourage bike commuting.
The Greenwood store will have about 250 employees (the old store had about 100). It is still hiring for about 25-30 positions (most in the service deli or as courtesy clerks). Applications are accepted online.
Grand opening festivities on Feb.1 include a cake cutting at 2 p.m. Mayor Mike McGinn, a Greenwood resident, has been invited.
Fred Meyer Greenwood will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.