For more than 120 years, the Bailey’s General Store has been synonymous with Sanibel Island, providing guests and residents with groceries, hardware and general needs long before any bridges were built.
Owner Richard Johnson recently announced that big changes are coming to the beloved store to enhance and modernize the guest shopping experience.
Thanks to reporter Reese Holiday and our friends at the Santiva Chronicle, we can share the following:
“The local grocery stores have changed dramatically over the past few decades,” Johnson said. “What we’re planning for is we’re going to become more relevant in what today’s customer is looking for in a grocery store.”
The plans for this external change will replace the yellow and brown look with the flat roof that has remained for decades with more prominent, blue facades on top of the building, including the largest one right at the entrance of the grocery store.
But the changes don’t stop there as Johnson, who is also Sanibel’s vice mayor, explained that the grocery store will be expanding further towards the south side of the shopping center, adding an additional 6,000 square feet in retail space.
To do so, the Island Cinema, a building located next to the grocery store in which the shopping center owns, will be demolished to make more floor space for the store. Johnson said this decision came about during the COVID-19 pandemic when he and his staff decided to not re-open the theatre.
With these changes to add new areas to the grocery store, many of the popular, older features that visitors loved will still remain, including the liquor store, which will be relocated, and the highly successful coffee bar.
“The things that people know us for and love about Bailey’s are not going away,” Johnson said. “Mainly, that’s the people that are there.”
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