Lawrence Dillons gets dapper makeover
- Aug. 20, 2012
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“Dirty Dillons” has transformed into a more environmentally friendly, “dapper Dillons” and created job opportunities in Lawrence.
Last year the 37-year-old Dillons, 1740 Massachusetts St., was torn down and construction began on a new multi-million dollar store. After the Grand Opening Celebration on Sunday, Lawrence residents and University students shared their thoughts on the Dillons transition. The first 500 customers received a $5 Dillons gift card at the entrance. A variety of free samples were given to customers while they shopped.
“I grew up going to the Dillons that they tore down,” said Amelia Weil, a sophomore from Lawrence. “It was my home away from home grocery store. I loved it and I was sad to see it go.”
Dillons on Massachusetts Street has been at the same location since 1960. In 1974, it was rebuilt because of a fire.
Throughout the years, it became notorious for being “the dirty Dillons.” Ida Greenwell, a junior from Lawrence, said some people didn’t like the old Dillons because it was dirty and lacked the selection of other stores.
“I went there and saw some funky people sometimes,” Greenwell said.
The Dillons was designed to reach a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability.
“We have one of our greenest and most sustainable Kroger stores sitting here in Lawrence,” said Scott Rooks, Dillons energy engineer. “A lot of the values we get out of lowering the utility costs get translated into lower prices.”
Steve Birchfield, the store’s manager, said that students are important to the new store, both as customers and employees.
“This is going to be the student store,” Birchfield said. “It’s close to campus. It’s a quick trip down off the hill.”
The new Dillons employs more than 200 people, including students. Birchfield said clerk positions are still being filled.
Nic Wilson, produce manager back-up and senior from Topeka, said he works at Dillons full-time, has a second job, goes to classes full-time and still manages a social life. He has worked at Dillons stores since he was 15. Wilson plans to graduate without any student loan debt.
“My policy is if you stick with one company, you will be able to build rapport with them,” Wilson said. “I have references from all over Topeka and Lawrence. I know district managers and most of the higher-up people.”
Tyshawn Taylor, Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball player and former KU basketball player, will be signing autographs at the Dillons on Monday, August 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening.
— Luke Ranker