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The Indianapolis Star reports that Kroger is upgrading two of its existing store in the market to its Signature concept, as well as opening a new, 62,000 square foot version of the upscale concept that features a broader range of prepared and takeout foods.

The format includes, according to the Star, chef's stations, salad and olive bar, a floral designer, wedding cake program and a self-service digital photo lab,” as well as broader wine and international food selections. The new version “also will have a drive-through pharmacy, a four-pump fuel center, a Boar's Head kitchen area, sushi cases and an area selling kitchen utensils and cookware,” the paper reports.

Local analysts believe that the stores are being positioned to compete more effectively with Marsh, which itself is opening both larger “lifestyle” stores as well as smaller Arthur's Fresh Market units that focus on fresh produce and gourmet foods, as well as differentiate the company from the likes of Wal-Mart.
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