The Original Features of the Kroger Signature Store

The Kroger Signature store was unique to the Southwest division, though wasn't the only Kroger store that "upscaled" in its class, the Detroit division featured Kroger Premier, with gourmet departments. The first Kroger Signature in Houston opened September 1, 1993 at Champions Forest and Cypresswood. In addition to carrying more upscale items and bolstering existing departments (things like an expanded salad bar, organic produce, wine stewards, gourmet items), it also featured a food court, featuring a Sara Lee sandwich shop, a Chinese food restaurant, and KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Later, the Kroger added a cigar/espresso shop to the food court area, where customers could enjoy espresso in addition to the food offerings (though the cigars were not to be smoked in-store).

On one of my trips to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, I found this article actually showing the food court in action (in full color!)

The Kroger Signature concept expanded quickly, with many of the newly acquired AppleTree stores rebuilt as Signature stores, and some of the newer, larger stores retrofitted as such. Additionally, one of the later additions to the Signature concept included a "day care" concept (at least during for the duration of the shopping trip) called "Huggieland". The article mentions that "anxious parents can also keep an eye on their kids through video monitors located throughout the stores", which sounds like it could present some problems about privacy (and probably did!) but the concept lasted at least into 2000 when it came to the Kroger Signature store in College Station at 3535 Longmire. Luckily, I was able to procure the store directories—I think these were distributed elsewhere to promote the new store. It was one of the most visually compelling store directories I've ever seen (I had to crudely stitch the two sides together, you may notice errors if you zoom in too close). The cover is here, the list of some other features is here, actual listing of departments is here, and pictures of the managers here.