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ShopRite, with 10 stores in the Baltimore area, is expanding its locally produced offering.
ShopRite, with 10 stores in the Baltimore area, is expanding its locally produced offering. (Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The 38-year-old Klein's ShopRite supermarket in Forest Hill will be getting a $9.5 million makeover, as the Harford County-based company continues to solidify its local presence and compete with new and emerging grocery stores, its president says.

The store on Route 24 will be renovated to make it "more operationally efficient," Klein's ShopRite President Andrew Klein said Thursday.

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Changes will include a cheese department, a meat smoker, energy-efficient doors in the produce department and space to offer more gluten-free and organic items, he said. The Forest Hill store was the first one built by the Klein family in Harford County, where it operates six stores under the ShopRite name.

Klein's ShopRite held its eighth annual Celebrity Bagging for Hunger Wednesday afternoon at the company's Forest Hill location, and used the event as a backdrop to announce nearly $10 million in renovations will be done to the store in the next year.

Klein's most recently expanded its largest store, in the Festival at Bel Air shopping center, in 2011, adding 10,000 square feet at that location from two adjoining storefronts.

The Forest Hill store will remain at 55,000 square feet following its renovation, making it about 10,000 feet smaller than the Festival store, Klein said.

The facade will also be renovated, "but what we are actually going to do is make the store a little more efficient by reclaiming a lot of space that we did not have for sales area" and convert it for preparation areas, he explained.

The store will flip the dairy and bakery departments, moving bakery to the left side when customers enter and dairy to the right, and adding a cheese department on the left side with gourmet cheese, as well as a smoker for items like brisket and pork, he said.

More aisles will be provided for frozen items, meat and seafood, which "customers really like," Klein said. More checkout aisles will also be provided, including aisles for EBT/debit card holders.

Shirley S. Klein, a Harford County philanthropist and retired businesswoman, died Monday. A longtime resident of Forest Hill, Mrs. Klein, was the matriarch of the family that established and owns the Klein's ShopRite supermarkets throughout Harford County and elsewhere in the Baltimore region.

"The arrangement will actually look very similar to Festival," Klein said. Some other groceries will also be relocated and new aisles added for gluten-free and lactose-free items.

The Forest Hill store also will feature ShopRite from Home, which is "very popular as people's lives become more complex, they cannot get out," Klein explained.

The supermarket will have two small "bump-outs" for the bakery but those will be mostly for preparation purposes, not visible for customers, he said.

"It will be really nice," Klein said about the renovation. "It's a major expansion."

The energy-efficient doors and amenities also will make the supermarket eligible for a lot of energy credits, Klein said.

The Klein's stores transitioned to the ShopRite banner in 2009. ShopRite is a regional supermarket cooperative based in New Jersey.

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