Cub’s newest store, opening Thursday in Minneapolis, will be its smallest and fastest.
The 46,000-square-foot store is the ground-level tenant of a new apartment complex at E. 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue.
It will have a dozen grab-and-go concepts, including a popcorn shop, burrito bar, juicery, sushi bar and Refresh, which serves ice cream and Caribou coffee to customers both in the store and at a walk-up window outside.
The store will be the first Cub to have a kombucha tap and the first with a panini bar.
“Our new Minnehaha Cub store expands our store portfolio and speaks to the benefits of urban living by providing a convenient shopping experience,” said Cub CEO Mike Stigers, referencing the new store’s neighborhood.
“We continue to evolve our look and feel to have a better shopping experience in each department,” he said.
A typical Cub store has a footprint of more than 70,000 square feet. The smaller-sized store will have fewer “center store” items, typically room-temperature packaged and canned food. Sales of those items have declined as consumers reach for more fresh products and grab-and-go items and meals.
Supermarkets are trying to right-size their stores amid changing tastes and amid competition from warehouse chains like Costco and online providers like Amazon. The most successful ones try to figure out the right assortment for the neighborhood, supermarket analyst Phil Lempert said.
Hy-Vee and Kroger are also testing smaller stores. Hy-Vee’s smaller store in downtown Des Moines is called Fourth and Court.
Plans for the store were already in progress when United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) of Providence, R.I., announced last July that it was buying Cub’s parent Supervalu. UNFI, a supermarket wholesaler, later announced that it planned to sell off Supervalu’s retailers, including Cub. The search for a buyer is ongoing and fluid, UNFI spokesman Mike Wilken said.
The new store anchors a five-story, 148-unit apartment complex called Lowa46 built by Oppidan Investment Co. of Excelsior. Residents in the complex can order groceries or meals on an app for delivery to their doors within an hour.
No ribbon cutting is planned when the store opens at 5 a.m. Thursday, but grand-opening events will be held through Sunday with live music, free samples, children’s activities and meat raffles.
After Thursday, store hours will be 6 a.m. to midnight daily.