Grocers bite in Norman market; the city expects a Crest Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market and Walmart Neighborhood Market in 2013

Each store fulfills a specific niche in Norman, says Chamber President John Woods.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: February 21, 2013
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Sprouts grows

Sprouts Farmers Market will be a new name in Norman but the grocer has stores in Oklahoma City and Edmond, which it acquired when the company merged with Sunflower Farmers Market last summer.

The 28,000-square-foot store will feature the chain's signature low- profile produce displays, which give it a hometown feel, said Steve Black, chief information and marketing officer for Sprouts. Stores emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, organic and gluten-free grocery items, natural meats and vitamins.

“It's not the conventional grocery store a lot of Oklahomans are used to,” said Black, who is from Oklahoma but now resides in Arizona, where Sprouts is based.

Black said the location for the Norman store, adjacent to a liquor store in the former Hobby Lobby, was chosen for its proximity to the University of Oklahoma campus and downtown Main Street shopping.

Residents from thousands of cities request a Sprouts store, but the response was particularly strong for Norman, Black said. A Facebook page for the Norman store already has more than 4,400 “likes” and a crowd is expected at the grand opening on March 27.

The first 200 shoppers inside when the store opens at 7 a.m. receive a free grocery bag filled with items. There will also be giveaways, demos and food tastings throughout the day.

On March 30, the store will give the first 300 shoppers coupons for five free sandwiches. Other promotions that day will reward random customers with $20 off their purchase or deli meat and cheese “on the house.”

Walmart, which is building a Neighborhood Market store at Rock Creek Road and 36th Avenue NW, didn't respond to an email request for comment.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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