Shoppers who relied on the Kroger store at Maple and Orchard Lake Road for their Jewish/kosher food products will have to shop elsewhere after July 16, when the former Hiller’s store, which re-opened under the Kroger name one year ago, will close its doors.
According to Kroger Consumer Affairs Manager Rachel Hurst, the decision was made because the store “was not performing up to the desired levels” established by corporate management.
While Kroger management had considered a move to the location being vacated by Kmart on Orchard Lake Road south of 14 Mile Road, Hurst said there are currently no plans to turn that space into a Kroger store.
She said Jewish shoppers will find a larger selection of kosher products two miles north, at the Kroger store located at Lone Pine and Orchard Lake Road.
“They have an outstanding selection of kosher and Jewish items,” said Hurst, adding that the kosher section of that store was expanded when the location was remodeled two years ago.
Forms are available for customers who want to request specific products that are not currently stocked.
“Naturally, we want to accommodate our customers to the best of our ability,” Hurst said.
A sampling of Jewish shoppers showed that most did not find the selection of kosher and holiday products as extensive as it was under the Hiller’s Market ownership.
“They missed an opportunity to capitalize on the great reputation Hiller’s had for carrying a variety of kosher products,” said Tali Wendrow of West Bloomfield. “When Passover came around, I relied on Johnny Pomodoro’s for my kosher products and now do most of my grocery shopping at Costco, Meijer and Busch’s.”
Rebecca Klausner, who was willing to drive from her Southfield home to the West Bloomfield Hiller’s, began shopping elsewhere because she could not find the same selection of products after Kroger took over the store.
“When it was Hiller’s, I would buy kosher meats and other kosher/Jewish products,” said West Bloomfield resident Heather Rosenberg. “I actually haven’t gone to it since it turned to Kroger. I opt for the Kroger on Lone Pine and Orchard Lake Road, Trader Joe’s or One Stop Kosher [in Oak Park].”
According to a representative from First Holding Management, the property management company for the Orchard Mall, plans to occupy the space have not yet been finalized.
By Ronelle Grier | Contributing Writer