United Supermarkets cut the ribbon today on the flagship of its next-generation United stores, located at 3552 South Soncy Rd. in Amarillo.
The ceremony featured comments by Robert Taylor, president of United Supermarkets, and Gary Molberg, president and CEO of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, the grand opening included United representatives presenting a $50,000 donation to High Plains Food Bank’s operation of Kids Cafe, which provides free meals and snacks to low-income children in the Amarillo community.
The 55,000-square-foot flagship location features a totally new design and anchors a 19-acre site that also includes a freestanding United Express convenience store – which opened Jan. 29 – and additional retail development. United purchased the site early last year.
“This is our first United location which reflects our new brand strategy,” says Monica Schierbaum, senior director of marketing for United Supermarkets. “It is a bold statement and truly represents the United Supermarkets brand and what we stand for. The Amarillo community is so important to our company, and we believe this store will be a positive expression of the strong relationship we have with our Amarillo guests.”
United has been operating stores in Amarillo since 1971.
The new Amarillo store is a bright and colorful design that uses active visual elements, as well as outdoor images, that honor the local community and the Texas spirit. “Guests will know they’re stepping into an Amarillo store,” says Schierbaum.
Several store features have never been seen in a United Supermarkets location before – most notably, a separate entrance and exit, as well as “fresh” departments at the front of the store.
“You’ll know this United is different the moment you walk in,” says Wes Jackson, the company’s chief merchandising officer. “Fresh produce and floral welcome you right as you enter the store.” The landmark of the store is a large, iconic tree over the entire produce department.
The dining-food service area is to the right of the entrance, away from the shopping flow. It provides colorful, comfortable seating for up to 190 guests (76 inside and 114 outside). The deli and hot bar feature Boar’s Head sliced meat and cheeses, pizza, sandwich bar, soup and salad bar, a large assortment of grab-and-go chilled prepared foods and a hot griddle.
The company’s commitment to health and wellness is also apparent, as evidenced by:
- a Care Xpress walk-in healthcare clinic, with services provided by Family Medicine Centers of Amarillo;
- a drive-thru pharmacy;
- new shelf tags featuring “healthy attributes” that identify products in 10 different categories, such as low-sodium, heart-healthy, organic, gluten-free, etc., as well as the recently introduced “Dietitian’s Top Pick” program;
- shelf tags that also include the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, which rates the nutritional value of foods throughout the store on a scale of 1 to 100. United was the first supermarket chain in Texas to adopt the NuVal system;
- and expanded gluten-free and bulk departments.
Other notable store features include:
- a full-service meat/seafood department;
- the largest beer-wine selection of any United location, including a walk-in beer cooler;
- and a full-service bakery featuring made-to-order cakes and in-store cake decorating.
The store will be eco-friendly as well, according to Tony Crumpton, executive vice president of facility, fuel and supply.
“This location reflects our commitment to the environment and reducing our carbon footprint,” Crumpton says. “It is our first United location with skylights for light harvesting, a newly designed refrigeration system that substantially reduces the amount of ozone-depleting gas needed, and the use of LED lighting throughout the store, to lower overall energy usage.”