Carole BernardiSpecial to the Bonanza

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October 19, 2012
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Incline Village Raley's is shaking things up

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - We live in an age when food choices are strategized as often as what outfits we choose to wear, or who we vote for. The impact of how we make those choices is heavily influenced by the environment we shop in. That's why after 35 years (original store built 1977), a remodel in 1995, and 59,221 square feet later, the Incline Village Raley's Store is moving into the 21st century.Raley's Family of Fine Stores (Raley's, Nob Hill, Bel Air & Food Source) prides itself on 128 stores across the northern regions of California and Nevada, according to its website. Its winning philosophy of "Merchandising Integration" strives to meet customer's needs, make products more accessible to shoppers and expand product categories for greater selection. Proof that Raley's has moved into the 21st century is melding this philosophy while accommodating energy efficient upgrades throughout its chains, and renovations currently are under way at the Incline Village store off Highway 28."The new environmentally sound Raley's overall energy consumption will be reduced by 25-30 percent due to energy efficient upgrades," said Michael Helzer, director of facilities for Raley's. "Frozen Foods Reach-In Doors will now have auto dimming LED lighting, and Refrigerated Cases will now have doors for more efficient temperature and freshness control. LED Track lighting will appear throughout the store to highlight products and light reduction (by one-half) is backed by Electronic Energy Management Controls that can be managed via remote and meets all Department of Energy (DOE) 2013 Demand Response requirements.Upon completion, Raley's will submit for a Green Chill Award (EPA partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigeration emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change), and we expect to receive a Silver Rated Project certification."That's great news on the environmental stage, but what about the look? Residents can expect to see an upgraded interior dcor, exterior facade enhancements, a new stained polish concrete floor, new check-out stands (including the 4-Self Check out stations), new exterior cart storage, new bathrooms, wider aisles, new display cases, an expanded Natural Foods and Produce Department and "space optimization," Helzer said, which in Incline means "no more hiking from one end of the store to the other for a similar item."The concrete structural wall that used to create "the great divide" has been omitted, giving way to better visuals throughout, Helzer said, and liquor will now be where the Camera Service Counter once was, with an additional 1,000 feet of wine selection. Floral will move to the middle of the store and be expanded, while the Service Deli & Bakery will host an expanded caf area with more seating and large windows.If you're that customer who enjoys taking a gamble with the Slot Machines, no need to worry - they're staying, Helzer said, courtesy of the lease arrangement with United Coin of Sparks. Kodak Kiosk photo printers will stay relocated to the front entry area.Along with the new look comes several enhanced food choices, Helzer said, including 250 new products in the Natural Foods Department with increased bulk choices like a Trail Mix Bar and a peanut and almond butter grinder. Natural foods will now be housed, side by side, with similar items and clearly marked. Produce will be bigger and better, Helzer said, and in the Service Deli area, get ready to dig into some fresh Mongolian barbecue with cooked-to-order Asian food.Construction began Sept. 24 and is expected to be completed by February 2013, Helzer said. Out of respect for the busy holiday season, work will halt from Dec. 9-Jan. 5. Reno contractors are performing the work during the evenings to minimize customer impact, Helzer said.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 19, 2012 11:51AM Published Oct 19, 2012 11:49AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.