Saturday, February 28, 2009

Former Stop and Shop — Clifton, NJ

Welcome to Acme Style's first "Bonus Store of the Month"! As much as I love Acme, I will, on occasion, feature stores from other chains with compelling architecture or history. Probably won't be posting one every month, but couldn't resist the title!

So let's start off with this Stop and Shop location just off of Rt. 3 in Clifton NJ. It is located about a mile up the road from a brand new Acme that will be making an appearance in an upcoming post. It is also located about 2 miles away from another very large Stop and Shop which has just been remodeled with S&S's new look... a look that I find absurdly generic and downright appalling. I think S&S is missing the mark with their new look but that's a whole other post. In the meantime... this store is being torn down so a new Super Stop and Shop can be built. Not good news for the Acme down the street.

This store was a Grand Union for many many years. Not sure what it was originally. Stop and Shop acquired most of the Grand Unions when the chain went bankrupt in the early 2000's. The Stop and Shop about 2 miles down the road was an Edwards. Both chains were owned by Ahold but the Edwards banner was retired with hopes that the Stop and Shop banner would more effectively draw business away from ShopRite and Pathmark. I don't thing Ahold had the level of success they were hoping for with the switch.

The interior ceiling was not arched like the exterior. A drop ceiling had been added at some point. The windows along the front are very distinctive to Grand Unions. This section was added on during the chain-wide 80's remodel. Many locations received additions very similar to this. This store was remodeled again in the very late 90's. Grand Union was having tough times throughout the 90's but did manage to get a cash infusion from partnering up with another company. This money was quickly spent remodeling stores in hopes of saving the chain. This particular location received the deluxe remodel package and was among the nicest Grand Unions I had ever been in. The wall graphics, faux hardwood floors, color scheme, old fashioned/retro decor... all among the best of it's time. Unfortunately for Grand Union,these remodels didn't bring in enough extra cash to keep the company afloat. The company went under in 2001. Stop and Shop took over this location did little to the interior when it took over, rightfully so. Most Grand Unions were closed for just a few days as they were transformed to Stop and Shops. The big difference at this location was the front end where S&S put it's own, hideous green and red checkout stands where GU's stylish front end used to be.

There is a trailer just to the right that is serving as the temporary Stop and Shop pharmacy. I don't remember this store having a pharmacy but I can't imagine new customers wanting to get their prescriptions from a trailer in the midst of the construction mess. So it must be for use of existing customers.

The Stop and Shop sign is all you can really see of the store from Rt. 3 as you are whizzing by.


  1. According to my mom, this store was originally a Penn Fruit store in the 70's, but it has been a Grand Union as long as I can remember. I loved this store because it's such a good size for picking up a thing or two.....or at least it USED to be...looks like it will soon be another giant boring cookie-cutter Stop and Shop. Not that it matter how many grocery stores open in this area, people seem to be super-loyal to ShopRite. The one down the road in Bloomfield is enormous and you can hardly get a spot in the parking lot on Sundays.

    Neither the Grand Union nor Stop & Shop had a pharmacy...there was a tiny independent FamilyMeds "Broad Street Pharmacy" around the side of the building by the liquor store on Broad Street (you can see it in the arial view...jutting out on the left side of the building)

    Stop & Shop has been trying to boot all the other tenants in this strip mall for years and when they finally were able to, they bought out the guy and took over the pharmacy. It's been operating as a standalone S&S Pharmacy for a little over a year now.
    An interesting note about this plaza is that it was the birthplace of Linens N Things. The original LnT store was squashed between Grand Union and Mandee (when it closed, Mandee took over the tiny store) The Linens HQ was located about a mile away.

  2. i used to work at this stop n shop, but due to renovations i got transferred...this store is long overdue for a makeover, and i cant wait to go back!! i love working there, some of the best times of my life...attention customers, it should be finished by november!!! we might even get a starbucks i heard!!! 837 forever <3 p.s. its not gonna be a super stop n shop, its still gonna be relativley small, which is a good thing...see you all very soon at our brand new store!!!

  3. I work for the company now and that's my home store...or at least it was.

    Mandee I believe was the last thing to go- the liquor store went out right after the new year and Mandee I think stayed until February and then they moved to the highway.

    FTR, as I understood the Linens 'n Things store was actually part of the Grand Union building first and they remodeled the store to leave the space empty.

  4. I think s&s stiks thare prices are too high my dad calls stop&shop stop&rob

  5. I grew up around the corner from this Allwood Rd center and the food store was a Grand Union at least from the mid 60's until S&S took over. There used to be a free standing Tom McCann's shoe store (later Sam Goody's) on the site. I also seem to remember that Channel Lumber leased the space before Mandees. The Broad Pharmacy allowed families to maintain individual charge accounts and serviced everyone in the area before CVS, Walgreen's, etc.

  6. There was is an old A & P at 50 Market Street in Clifton. Now a Quick Chek & Dentist office. My family lived in town until I was four. I am in Toms River, NJ now. My first memory of shopping with my late mother was at that store. I've been hunting for it. I found it on Google Maps. Any info on that store? It closed as an A & P a loooong time ago.

  7. I must be shopping at the wrong store, I find Stop & Shop to be quite reasonable and a pleasant store to shop in.

  8. This looks similar to the pomton lakes acme before it burned

  9. Just saying here, but if Stop & Shop ever had a Slurpee, it's flavor would be watermelon, or watermelon and cherry. Their signature colors are red and green, right? So it would suit them. Of course, they could easily add grape and banana flavors to it to represent their new logo.

  10. Acme Style, Stop & Shop Is Now Remodeled! Check Out The Exterior:

    1. It was torn down and rebuilt. The new store was covered on the blog...