Among the customers to visit the Kroger fuel station today, the day it opened on Ga. 21 in Rincon, was Rincon Mayor Ken Lee.
Lee brought a city car by for gasoline and a photo with Tom Coburn, the manager of the new Kroger Marketplace that’s under construction behind the fuel station. The new grocery store is slated to open in May.
Lee retired as manager of the Rincon Kroger about a year and a half ago.
Coburn said last-minute work was still being done Thursday to make all 18 of the station’s pumps operate. The store portion of the fuel station was still being stocked with items such as cigarettes.
Beginning Friday, the Kroger fuel center will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
When the new Kroger Marketplace store opens in May, the fuel station’s hours will expand to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Regular gasoline at the new Kroger station was $1.93 on Thursday. Customers who purchase gas at Kroger fuel centers can take part in the Fuel Rewards Program and instantly save up to $1 per gallon when using a Kroger Plus Card.
For more information about the Fuel Rewards Program, visit www.kroger.com/fuel
Kroger will have an official grand opening for the fuel center on Dec. 30, offering customers 10 cents off per gallon through Jan. 3.
When the new Kroger Marketplace store was first announced for Rincon, it was going to have a jewelry store inside. Coburn said plans have changed, and instead, the store will have an area with refrigerators and freezers for a grocery pickup service.
Customers will be able to order groceries online and then drive to the Marketplace store to pick them up. Their selections will already be waiting.
He said there will be a minimal fee for the service, or the store will offer a membership price for people who want to use the service all the time.
Coburn said the grocery pickup service will not be available when the store first opens in May, but will be added sometime after that.
The new store will have 115,000 square feet, compared with 44,000 square feet at the current Kroger store, which is farther south on Ga. 21 in Rincon.
In addition to the fuel center, the new store will have upscale service departments, a drive-thru pharmacy, Starbucks, apparel department, expanded natural foods and organic section and Chef on the Run.
The project is estimated to bring approximately 250 to 300 new jobs to the community, according to Glynn Jenkins, spokesman for Kroger in Atlanta.
Kroger’s Atlanta division introduced its first Marketplace store in Carrollton, Ga., in 2013.
The Atlanta division operates five Marketplace stores in Savannah, Athens, Carrollton, Gainesville and Warner Robins.