Dierbergs stores staying the course

Dierbergs Markets Inc. reports steady if not spectacular growth at two new stores it opened in 2013.

The two stores represented departures for the company, said Steve Duello, produce category manager for Chesterfield, Mo.-based Dierbergs.

One is an upscale market, the first of its kind for Dierbergs, in western St. Louis County.

The 75,000-square-foot store, located in Des Peres Township, was the chain’s 24th store and among its biggest.

It features a new interior and exterior design, including wider aisles, bigger displays and more samplings and other events.

In opening the store, Dierbergs went head-to-head with rival Schnucks, which was first in that part of the county with a high-end store.

The second store Dierbergs opened in 2013 is at Lake of the Ozarks’ Osage Beach, which follows a kind of “boom or bust” model based on whether it’s tourist season, Duello said.


Straub benefits from store remodel

William A. Straub is following up a remodel of its Clayton, Mo., store with a remodel of another store in central west St. Louis County, said Greg Lehr, produce manager for the St. Louis-based retail chain.

The effects of the Clayton remodel have already been felt, Lehr said.

“Since the remodel, sales have been really good.”

In the produce department, upgrades include custom-made displays. They were supplied by craftsmen in Ohio Lehr met through his connections with Amish vegetable growers in the state that supply Straub during the summer.

One multi-layer, curved wooden display specializes in displaying potatoes and onions. Lehr estimates its length at 25 feet.


Vaccaro’s online service continues

St. Louis-based wholesaler Vaccaro & Sons is back for another year of its online service, stlgrocery.com, which was launched in June 2013, said Dale Vaccaro, the company’s owner.

“It didn’t take off as much as I had hoped, but it’s still very good,” Vaccaro said. “It’s been slow to steady.”

With stlgrocery.com, employees of St. Louis companies place custom orders for fresh produce and meats online, then once a week, Vaccaro & Sons delivers it to the company’s office.

If produce is ordered through stlgrocery.com, companies and their employees can be assured they’re getting premium quality, Vaccaro said.

In the summer, herbs and locally grown fruits and vegetables have been among the popular options with the service, he said.