Friday, September 13, 2013
Weis — Hillsborough, New Jersey
Weis opened their Hillsborough store on Sunday, August 25. This former Pathmark, which closed back in 2010, is Weis' 4th store in New Jersey with a former store in Flanders. For additional Hillsborough and Weis coverage, you can jump over to the first report of this new location by clicking here. For a look at the former A&P in Hillsborough with original decor still intact, click here. This post is simply a visual tour and review of this new Weis Market.
Interesting feature here... drive through for picking up online orders.
The Bakery is impressive for a standard supermarket. I would say it is better than the Hillsbourogh ShopRite and also has the two nearby Stop and Shops beat.
Produce is among the store's best features. It is leaps and bounds better than the ShopRite's which is absurdly small and cramped.
The openness of the front-end is pretty refreshing. I'm standing just inside the entrance. Customers have a clear shot to head off in any direction. The store enjoys a lot of nature light with all the windows along the front.
Before we go any further here, let's take a quick look at Weis' former decor package...
Weis rolled out this look in the early to mid 90's. They stuck with it for around ten years. It had many similarities to what it's main competitor Giant was doing at the time.
A look along the front-end of the Clarks Summit store. One very interesting feature here is the angled checkouts. Acme took this same approach at the new Bryn Mawr location. Now back to Hillsborough...
This department is average for a typical grocery store. Nothing out the ordinary. For years Weis used the tagline "Ahead of the Rest". They never were, and frankly, still aren't. They do have the other nearby stores beat on cleanliness and organization. That of course could all change as time goes on.
Hey, how'd these get here? No other Wild Harvest items in the organic section. Must have gotten mixed in with the shipment by accident. Weis doesn't carry any of it's own branded organics or health food. The organic produce selection was disappointing.
The Pharmacy backs up to Produce with Health and Beauty in aisles 2 through 4. A nice bright and spacious area.
I wonder if Pathmark's aisles extended further back. This area along the back of the store seems more spacious than necessary. I found overall selection in the store to be lacking. It's kind of the antithesis to the overly stuffed and cramped ShopRite which could work in Weis' favor. The overall atmosphere here is much more pleasant as well.
Several half-aisles are located throughout the grocery section which seems to impact overall selection.
I was surprised to see prices as high as they were. I figured Weis would come in lower to help draw people away from ShopRite. That doesn't seem to be the case.
Some aisles are split halfway for pass throughs as you can see between aisle 13 and 14.
Nice frozen department although the lights are not motion sensor like in some other Weis stores. Perhaps there was just too much activity in the aisles to know for sure.
I do give the decor a thumbs up. Weis has been using this look and variations of it for a good 10 years now. The chain does have a tendency to use the same decor packages for many many years.
Store offices are located behind the bread area.
Checkouts are a major FAIL! Plastic bags are located at the end of the belt. Cashiers bag everything automatically making bringing your own bags very difficult. They do have metal trays that connect these two sections allowing groceries to slide to the back. Only a couple of registers had them. I always bag my own items in reusable bags so I don't find this set-up acceptable at all. Another huge fail... the registers do NOT have screens that display the prices as the items are being scanned. Can you imagine? If you want to see what's being rung up you have to watch the tiny credit card screen there on the left. My whole checkout experience was infuriating. It I'm ever back at this store, I'll be using the self-checkouts.
Overall verdict: A nice alternative to the other stores in the area. If pricing and selection were to improve, this Weis market could truly be... ahead of the rest.