Friday, February 10, 2017

Edison Superfresh!




Location: 1185 Amboy Ave, Edison, NJ 08837


Key Foods acquired this former A&P Fresh and recently reopened it as a Superfresh. The company purchased the defunct banner from A&P last February and plans to convert all of its New Jersey stores to Superfresh.


This store began its life as a Stop and Shop which A&P acquired in the 80's and expanded over the years. The store competed with an Acme just across the parking lot for many decades. We'll take a closer look at the Acme in the following post.


Most of the interior photos were sent in to Acme Style a few months back. Unfortunately, I deleted the email after downloading the photos so I am not able to credit the source at this time. If the person who sent these in will contact me, I'll be able to credit your photos however you wish.


A&P's fresh décor remains throughout most of the store. Some new flooring has been put in and the service departments along the back have all new décor.


The Produce department is impressive unfortunately the rest of the store leaves a lot to be desired. While you will see the Superfresh sign outside, you won't see anything in common with the former chain inside.


I stopped in about a week ago to check out the store for myself (and to photograph the nearby former Acme). While the store is still celebrating its grand opening, the place feels more like its about to go out of business. There are huge areas of the store void of any merchandise and the font-end was staffed by one employee who was working both customer service and the one open register.


Key Foods is using the same type of stickers as Acme has to cover the the A&P logo on the fresh food murals.


Nice new photography and signage along the back where the service departments are located.


















Some grocery aisles have had their height reduced.








Here's where things get a little confusing. The photo above and below were among the ones sent in a a while back. When I was in the store, this whole area was cleared out. The selection in the Bakery was essentially non-exsistent accept for some cakes.




Completely empty frozen food cases along the right wall.


Not sure what's happening with the Bakery. No bread, no bagels, no fresh baked products to be found.


Overall it feels as though Key Foods bit of more than it can chew with this store.




But the signage does look great!




A former Acme is just across the parking lot! Now home to Walgreens and completely void of any Acme traits. See the next post for coverage of the store.

17 comments:

  1. It seems like a lot of smaller companies that picked up these huge stores are struggling. There's a huge difference between a successful 20k square foot urban store and an enormous 60k square superstore in the suburbs. If you have empty cases and empty departments, people are never going to come back because there's so much competition. The old saying rings true- one chance to make a first impression.

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    1. One interesting thing - it looks as though Key Foods runs the majority of stores on a cooperative basis (similar to ShopRite) but there are supposed to be a couple of the newer ones that the company is running themselves (but not sure which ones).

      So, could this store either be:
      a) One of the corporate stores, and perhaps they are not used to actually running (rather than just supplying) stores OR
      b) It's a non corporate store and whoever is running this one doesn't have the knowledge (or possibly funding) to do so well?

      Key has had more "suburban" stores before (including some further up into NY) but those were still not as large (the one that comes to mind was a Grand Union after they went out, but probably was a late 70's/early 80's store so not that large).

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  2. I'm wondering, then, how they're doing in Belleville because they took over the Belmont Avenue Pathmark too.

    From what I've heard, the Paterson store is actually a lot better than it was at any point in the last 20 years as an A&P/Food Basics.

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    1. That would make sense - if A&P had converted it to Food Basics, it's probably an older/smaller location, which they'd likely be more familiar with.

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    2. This was the replacement for the store that was attached to the former corporate office tower next door that the Paterson BOE is now headquartered at. I don't remember when it was built but the company store was open as late as 1977. The newer store got the Sav A Center and Food Market decor packages and A&P only decided to convert it after they liked the results they were getting in Passaic with the Food Basics brand.

      From what I've been told when Key Food took the store over (originally branding it Farmboy Country Market, now Farmboy Superfresh), they actually made an effort to clean it up.

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    3. I can't speak for it as a Food Basics, but I can say that when it was an A&P in the late 90's it wasn't in that great of shape.

      Plus, you had Corrado's nearby, and that place brought in a ton of customers. They had a warehouse that was separate from the building, so I would have to ask for my product to be transferred from the warehouse over to the store in order to stock. I don't know if that is still the setup.

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    4. Also, the corporate office tower was still open until the late 90's. I don't remember what year but they closed it and moved everything to Montvale, if I remember correctly.

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    5. The last time I was in the old Paterson store was in the summer of 2001. Trust me, it wasn't any better. From what I was told the Food Basics was rather grungy too.

      The office tower I wanna say was open even into the 2000s. If I remember correctly, they moved some operations back to Paterson and kept them there until sometime around 2004. I could be wrong.

      While I'd guess the setup might be different now because I don't think the warehouse is in use anymore, there's gotta be a similar setup because the store still doesn't have a traditional loading dock (and considering the back of the store feeds onto West Railway where the recycling company is they can't). Maybe they bring the load in from the front?

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  3. Would I be criticized if I said that Superfresh should have stayed dead instead of Key Foods wearing its rotting carcass like a suit?

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    1. Not by me! I don't get it either.

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    2. They've failed to establish a presence in NJ under their own name, so I guess they're trying something different here. I would have thought that maybe the decision to use the Superfresh name statewide was based on the success of their existing SF stores, but going by these photos, not so much. It already seemed a bit understocked when I was there, but not half as bad as this.

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    3. But the problem is that they are using the name in an area where A&P used their own name on the stores. It has no brand recognition or equity. Maybe people who went down the shore or to Philadelphia recognize the name, but for most in Northern NJ it might as well be a new chain.

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    4. Perhaps that is the intention?

      If people in the state weren't taking to the Key Foods stores, they now get a "second chance" as what looks like a totally new chain to most people.

      While likely not common here, it's surprising how many people don't really know about things outside their area. A great example is the number of people who were surprised in 2015 on hearing stories that A&P was going out of business. Most had, apparently, assumed that when A&P left their areas over the years that was the end of the company, not even realizing that they still had stores, in some cases only an hour or so travel time away! Or that they owned stores under other names like this one, even if they were in the local area.

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  4. Have you considered visiting the Stop and Shop in Waldwick, as it's closing in early March??

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    1. I have considered it but not sure if I'll make it there. I've been planning to head that way to cover some Acmes so if I made this month, I'll swing by the S&S.

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  5. You have til March 2 if you're gonna get to the S&S.

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  6. The price tags look really cheap and wasteful.

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