Kowalski’s to Get a Makeover

Kowalski’s is looking to re-make itself as a more European-style market, starting with the Grand Ave store and eventually converting all eight Kowalski’s locations. The reason:

Kris Kowalski Christiansen, chief operating officer, said the move was in response to customer habits, which seem to mirror those of traditional Europeans, who tend to shop more often, buying food for individual meals.

I can see that working on Grand Ave or in Uptown where there’s a bigger likelihood that people are walking to the store. But more suburban locations where people are driving? I suppose people swing by on the way home from work. We’ve occasionally done that with the one in Eden Prairie. We like to hit up the salad bar for fixins for our bag lettuce. Can’t say no to a better produce selection, though.

I think it’s a good idea for them to distinguish themselves further from Lunds and Byerly’s, too.

7 Comments so far

  1. jenni (unregistered) on February 26th, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

    i’m really glad to hear that, because that’s exactly how we shop. my boyfriend lives a block from the kowalski’s on lyndale, so we walk there and generally only buy stuff for a day or so.

    also, the fact that they send a coupon for free stuff every month? win. their employees are all excellent as well.

  2. Justin (unregistered) on February 26th, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

    I noticed myself doing this, and seeing people swing in at the same time as me to get smaller quantities of food, I figured as much by my own hypothesis. And this is at the South Mpls location. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

  3. Erica M (unregistered) on February 26th, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

    Post-work has long been a good time to cruise the Uptown Lunds. All the hipsters checking out the deli, whatnot.

  4. Amy (unregistered) on February 26th, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

    the EP Kowalski’s is so convenient for me that I drop by there all the time and practically know the staff by name…I love the whole idea.

  5. ldfs (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    Sounds interesting, because that does reflect how we shop (we live a couple of blocks from the Uptown store and frequently walk there to pick up whatever we need to make dinner). But I wonder exactly how they plan to interpret a "European Market." What exactly will change? When I lived in Europe, shopping consisted of stopping by several different stalls that sold fresh vegetables, where I would pick up what I wanted for dinner that night in whatever quantity I wanted (i.e. not prepackaged) and inexpensively.

  6. Aliecat (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    Are they going to keep all the meat, seafood, and cheese unwrapped? Cuz that’s what shopping in markets was like for me in Greece. Actually, I think it’s the European mystique, because when I was in France, they had supermarkets just like we do, as well as specialty shops for local breads, meats, and cheeses. Not much different than America, IMO.

  7. Bob Moffitt (unregistered) on March 1st, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

    I stopped in K’s on Grand last week, the place was a complete mess, with much of the inventory in plastic crates, the celling and flooring gone, and workers everywhere. And yet the loyal customers ignored it all and filled the carts.

    Got a stratta at the deli that was to die for for about $4. Also the sushi chief made an organic brown rice California roll for me to order.

    I wish they would open a store in the Northern ‘Burbs, near stately Moffitt Manor.

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