Moab City Market employees Daniel Lotfina (left), merchandising assistant manager, and Mike Bondio, HR assistant manager, are working to keep the store organized as merchandise is moved during the store’s remodel. [Photo by Ashley Bunton / Moab Sun News]

Moab spoke and City Market listened.

Grocery shopping at City Market is about to change in a big way. The City Market remodel currently in progress means that shoppers will no longer need to unpack their groceries on a self-scanner or conveyor belt. The complete wall-to-wall remodel includes physical and cutting-edge technological, upgrades. Customers will soon be able to choose using personal shoppers and Scan, Bag, Go.

Many City Market shoppers have witnessed the kinds of construction seen inside other stores during remodels. The torn up floors, plastic-sheet walls, and repositioned products encountered over the past few weeks represent the first stages of the supermarket’s remodel.

The store’s final look and feel will be enhanced by its freshly painted blue walls, new flooring and shelving. A garage door to the shopping cart area will allow employees to return carts from the parking lot without bumping into shoppers walking through the entrance. Traffic-jam spots in the aisles have been addressed, and new LED lighting, equipment and a roof will increase efficiency at City Market.

Not yet present are the two cutting-edge technologies to be installed in a few months that will change the City Market shopping experience.

The first technology is called Scan, Bag, Go. A shopper can scan items as they are added to the cart, by using a smart phone app or a store’s handheld scanner. Presenting the device to a self-checkout station or cashier allows the shopper to present any coupons and then pay.

All of the purchased items remain inside the shopping bags until a person unloads it at home.

City Market will launch Scan, Bag, Go around mid-December, said Brendon Cameron, the store manager.

“The people of Moab have been asking for years to have an updated, remodeled store,” Cameron said. “The company finally heard them and invested a lot of money into the Moab City Market.”

The supermarket is converting its current self-checkout area to accommodate Scan, Bag, Go and it is adding a second self-checkout area with eight stations. Scan, Bag, Go can be utilized by anyone shopping inside of the market, but it’s optional. Shoppers can still scan their own items at the self-checkout stations, or unload them onto a conveyor belt with a cashier.

The second technology, ClickList, will allow store employees to perform personal shopping for its customers. Also known as Pickup. ClickList will let customers use their smartphones or computers to send shopping lists to City Market. Employees will do the shopping and the customers designate a time to pick up and pay for the groceries.

By the time City Market celebrates its grand reopening in mid-January, 2019, Scan, Bag, Go will be up and running. ClickList is set to launch on or around Jan. 31, 2019.

City Market’s parent company, Kroger, has funded this expansive remodeling based directly on survey feedback provided over time by City Market shoppers. City Market shoppers have utilized the survey website printed on the bottom of their shopping receipts, Cameron said.

“Many people don’t know that we review those survey results every morning,” Cameron said. “We get together in a huddle and review them line-by-line. The survey results don’t just go into some database somewhere. We try to act on the things that we can. And the feedback is also compiled and sent to Kroger.”

Survey results have alerted City Market and Kroger to such issues as long checkout lines and traffic jams in the aisles (especially during the spring and summer seasons), and solutions for identified problems have been included in the remodel strategies.

“If our shoppers are highly satisfied, they’re going to come back,” Cameron said. “Our three competitors do a fantastic job of having great products out for their customers. We know the competition is stiff. It’s our goal to make everyone come back to us and our team.”

If Moab residents have been requesting these changes for years, why has it taken years to see the improvements?

“One of the reasons in the past that City Market hasn’t been able to remodel is budgetary,” Cameron said. He said the cost of the remodel is not yet available. “But the other reason is that there wasn’t a stable team to keep it up. Now we have a really great, stable team here in which Kroger is investing. We have 134 associates (family team members) who are doing a really good job. That’s one of the main reasons our parent company gave us the go-ahead. Our biggest return is that our customers say they are highly satisfied, and that’s the return the company looks for.”

“Even more exciting for me,” Cameron said, “is that the associates who are here every day will finally have new equipment and a new store to look at.”

Markus Delgado will directly benefit from the new equipment being installed in the bakery department. Delgado has been with City Market for five years and is currently a bakery clerk.

“I’m excited about the updated equipment we’ll be getting,” Delgado said.

Cameron added that the bakery department has been using the same bread ovens for 20 years.

“[The employees] spend a lot of time here and they deserve the upgrades,” Cameron said.

“The remodel will give the whole store a new energy, more positivity,” Delgado said. “I’m eager and anxious about it all, since I haven’t seen a major update in the store. The renovation will make a big impact, even the small improvements. Little things matter.”

Some of the renovation strategies allow City Market to embrace more of its “Kroger Zero Hunger Zero Waste” initiative. By the year 2025, City Market will cease to send any materials (such as food or palettes) to landfills. Instead, unused items will be either donated, composted or recycled.

“For example, some space behind the store will eventually be turned into a compost area,” Cameron said.

City Market has consistently contributed to addressing hunger in the community, Cameron said, and the store enhancements will improve upon the work that is already being done.

“We donate a lot to the food bank,” Cameron said. “Right now it’s one day a week, but we’re hoping the food bank can pickup more often as it gets more volunteers. We can be donating a lot more to the food bank.”

Additionally, the store uses a salvage truck to collect the cardboard, plastic and paper and returns these items to Denver to be reused or recycled.

“This is especially important because we can no longer recycle certain items here in Moab,” Cameron said.

“All this is a significant investment,” Cameron concluded, “but it’s definitely worth it for this town, for the same reason I live here and plan to live here for a long time: Moab is full of good people, families and friends who want to have good, fresh food at affordable prices. We say thanks to the town of Moab while we’re tearing up its grocery store. I promise it will be worth it.”

Store under construction; new plan based on customer feedback and surveys

“The people of Moab have been asking for years to have an updated, remodeled store. The company finally heard them and invested a lot of money into the Moab City Market.”

Where: 425 S. Main St.

When: Open Saturday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Information: Call 435-259-5181