Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Abandoned Super Fresh — Bristol PA




The abandoned Super Fresh Superstore in Bristol Pennsylvania is this month's Bonus Store! I just happened to stumble upon it while I was checking out some Acme's in the area. Super Fresh is, of course, a banner within The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea company. Super Fresh stores are located mostly in and around the Philadelphia area. Unfortunately they are a quickly dieing breed. A&P is converting most into the dreaded Pathmark Sav-a-center. This location closed in early 2008 after surviving five years of competition from a Wal-Mart that opened in the same shopping center in 2003.


One entrance there to the left with windows across the front of the Produce department. Exits at either end of the glass atrium.


You can see the labelscar of the store sign here in the black section. The satellite picture at the bottom of this entry shows the store still open for business with the logo intact.


The old Super Fresh logo is repeated along the front windows by the entrance. Click here to take a look at the new logo.


Some great interior shots here! The overall look of this store is A&P's last decor package prior to their Fresh format. Certainly a unique choice of font for the department names... however, there used to be 3-D bold letters on the wall as well, which spelled out the department names more clearly. They were about a third of the size of the painted letters. You can see the holes in the wall were they were mounted.

The green paint is leftover from the original decor of this store. You can see what the decor looked like by checking out the pics I have posted of the A&P in Andover New Jersey. Click here for a look.


I believe Deli and Seafood were back in those pink and blue colored sections. I was able to take these pictures through the windows that were to the left of the entrance.


You can see the meat collage still on the wall from the original decor package and another left over green section there to the right in the Bakery department.


The Bakery was in the far corner. Lots of angling of the service departments in the rear of the store.


A couple of pictures through the front windows. These didn't turn out as well with the glare from the slanted windows.


Customer Service was probably over to the right.


Welcome to the future! This style of store was an evolution of A&P's "Futurestore" concept of the early 80's. A&P made an attempt to redesign the American styled grocery store. The first attempts proved to be pretty unsuccessful. Futurestores had an all glass/greenhouse front and a stark black and white colored interior decor that was not well received. Redesigns happened quickly and new prototypes were rolled out. Pictures of the original prototypes are extremely rare. But you can count on Acme Style to hook you up. Click the links below to take a look at the very first A&P Futurestore in Allendale New Jersey...

Exterior

Interior

Produce

Deli

Below is a picture of what the Allendale store looks like today. Notice the old "Centennial" style A&P just next door. The Futurestore has been expanded with a new facade and is now a Fresh store.



And now back to the Bristol Super Fresh...


The Exit on the left side of the store. There was no entrance on this side of the store.


Exit on the right hand of the store.


Indeed you are.


Here's a look at the shopping center. Wal-Mart opened in early 2003. Super Fresh closed in early 2008.


Satellite pictures were taken when the store was still open. Here you can see the logo on the front of the store.

UPDATE 10.10.09: An anonymous reader left a comment with alot of interesting details. I am posting the comments as an update so no one misses out on the great info...

"Here's some more info. This center opened in the late 80s it originally featured the SuperFresh and a McCrory's five and dime store as anchors. The Walmart space was originally a Caldor (remember them) dicount department store that opened sometime in the early 90s (1992 or 93) around that time the SuperFresh added a Pharmacy department. the discount store stayed as Caldor until the chain's eventual closing in 1999. Ames quickly took over the Caldor space as part of a unsuccessful turn of the millenium overexpansion. This store only lasted a year due to competition from a Walmart in nearby Fairless Hills. But it did'nt keep WMT from buying the Caldor/Ames Building and refurbishing it to typical WMT standards....including a grocery department that for the lack of better terms kicked SF's hind quarters pricewise. But in all reality the main thing that killed the store was the A&P Pathmark Merger. Pathmark had a successful established SuperCenter a few miles down in Bristol so that combined with and the Tea Company's desire to grow Pathmark as the primary brand in the working class Philly Suburbs and use Superfresh only as a somewhat upscale sub-brand not to mention presumed FTC divestment orders (two stores in Bristol) and the weakness of the Superfresh brand as a mainstream banner. The closing was a NO-BRAINER!"

21 comments:

  1. There are still some Superfresh's that have this "future store" look. An A&P in Seaside Heights, NJ looks very similar to this old Bristol store.

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  2. Here's some more info. This center opened in the late 80s it originally featured the SuperFresh and a McCrory's five and dime store as anchors. The Walmart space was originally a Caldor (remember them) dicount department store that opened sometime in the early 90s (1992 or 93) around that time the SuperFresh added a Pharmacy department. the discount store stayed as Caldor until the chain's eventual closing in 1999. Ames quickly took over the Caldor space as part of a unsuccessful turn of the millenium overexpansion. This store only lasted a year due to competition from a Walmart in nearby Fairless Hills. But it did'nt keep WMT from buying the Caldor/Ames Building and refurbishing it to typical WMT standards....including a grocery department that for the lack of better terms kicked SF's hind quarters pricewise. But in all reality the main thing that killed the store was the A&P Pathmark Merger. Pathmark had a successful established SuperCenter a few miles down in Bristol so that combined with and the Tea Company's desire to grow Pathmark as the primary brand in the working class Philly Suburbs and use Superfresh only as a somewhat upscale sub-brand not to mention presumed FTC divestment orders (two stores in Bristol) and the weakness of the Superfresh brand as a mainstream banner. The closing was a NO-BRAINER!

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  3. I always thought the Allendale store was an odd one. I serviced the store as a vendor employee in the late 90's when I lived in NJ. The store manager was a real trip. He would stock up like crazy when items were on sale (from vendors or A&P), and the store made a ton of money. He even sold store supplies off the shelf! He would buy a trailer load of Coke 12 packs at a time, and stack them all in the front of the store. He was well known for throwing salespeople, vendor reps, etc, out of the store. Good thing he liked me! There was also an attached liquor store that you entered from the outside, or via a long ramp from the grocery store. Eventually he was transferred to the Woodcliff Lake store, and the new manager had the fun job of getting rid of all that backstock. Jack DeLuca was his name, and he was certainly a typical Italian-American. All the customers loved him, and corporate didn't bother him because the store was so far in the black.

    The Wayne NJ store on Valley Road (the other one on 22 has since closed) had the greenhouse front as well back then. It was kept even after a minor remodel. Not sure what it looks like today.

    Now I live in Delaware, and I've visited the Dover Super Fresh location, which still sports the greenhouse look.

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  4. As far as I know, the A&P Fresh in Wayne, NJ still has the "Greenhouse/Futurestore" look.

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  5. The Super Fresh in Etters, PA near Harrisburg was a Futurestore too. This is A&P's only store for miles. These stores opened around 1985 and became Super Fresh around 1992. A&P had a different "Futurestore" prototype for 1984.

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  6. Yeah that Jack Deluca was an ass, once throwing me out as a sunglass service rep, and trying to stop a Haba reset team I was on. Thank goodness the old lady who leaded the team was a tough one and didn't take any crap from anyone.

    Jack DeLuca is now working at Shop-Rite in Warwick, NY. I guess he got too many complaints from vendors just trying to do their jobs.

    I work for a data collection company and am in Allendale A*P all of the time. Never was at this store during the old design, but am there now and it is a neat design. The A&P in Midland Park is laid out the same as this - the liquor portion is right next to produce - no divider or anything.

    The latest design that they are doing is the one at Woodcliff Lake, NJ. You can see a virtual tour at the A*P website. I like the Allendale new design better. The WOodcliff lake once is a bit darker colors and dreary.

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  7. The Etters (PA) store is now a memory as it closed several months ago. As was said, that cuts the last thread of A&P in central PA.

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  8. This is still unconfirmed, but there are rumors the Bristol Pathmark is one of the 25 A&P announced they are closing. If true it would leave Bristol without a major supermarket; just an independent in the old A&P in town, and Walmart (which has some groceries, but isn't a Supercenter).

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  9. Actually, never mind; it has been confirmed: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/121/2010/august/18/pathmark-closing-in-l-bucks.html

    There is a Giant a half mile north that relocated in 2005; I forgot about it because it's address is in Levittown. It's still even further away from Bristol though.

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  10. You bring up the Allendale A&P Futurestore...odd thing is that until rather recently, with the exception of one or two minor touches, the store still looked like that.

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  11. Actually, customer service was not to the right of the store. Customer service was between the entrance on the left, and the exit on the left. The right side of the store was the pharmacy, HBA, and frozen and dairy departments.

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  12. my dad bought a lot of soup bones there one day in 1995. he said that the slanted windows held seasonal items.

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  13. Your article is very interesting. A lot of Superfrehs stores here in Maryland are shutting down because they're losing out on the competition with other supermarkets like Wegman's and Giant. I wrote about it in my blog about the Superfresh stores closing. If you do read it, whatever you do, please comment. I really do need more readers and followers.
    http://greatamericanrecession.blogspot.com/2011/07/rip-superfresh-im-sure-gonna-miss-you.html

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  14. Part of this location is now home to "Ollie's"

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  15. Know of any A&P's near Lionville, PA?

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  16. That Meat collage was by A&P? I know of a grocery store in Elyria, Ohio with one, but that one was not an A&P for about 30 years now!

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  17. Aww, I just found this. I grew up in Bristol in the 80s and 90s. I remember when this shopping center was a golf driving range... Dang, I'm old now.

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  18. A few notes. The WalMart was NOT originally a Caldor. It opened in the late 1980's as a Jamesway. After Jamesway melted down, it became a Caldor, and then an Ames location..
    Regarding the Allendale A&P, from what I can remember growing up near that store, that was the original prototype store for all of the Futurestores.

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    Replies
    1. Dont remember it being a Jamesway, must have been one for a brief brief period

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  19. I worked at this store. When the Walmart opened, the landlord assured us that Walmart would not be allowed to have an expanded grocery section, as this would hurt Superfresh, and from the landlord's perspective, potentially cost him a renter. That lasted a few years, but over time Walmart expanded their grocery section in a manner that literally killed the Superfesh. You could see the slow death of that store.

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  20. There was a Superfresh in Lionville PA and it is now closed. This store has been converted to a Redner's Market.

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