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TOUR: ShopRite - Bethlehem, PA

It's time for the last post of our second ShopRite week! Let's head out to Bethlehem, PA, in the Lehigh Valley, for a look at this store. Owned and operated by the Colalillo family, the 68,000 square foot store opened in the newly-built Madison Farms development in 2015. If I'm not mistaken, it was the second Colalillo store to use the decor package we're about to see, the first being the ShopRite of Yardley, which opened in a former SuperFresh in 2014.
The store has an interesting decor package that's really not far from Pathmark's final decor. For a general idea of the layout, the grand aisle is on the left side of the store, with prepared foods in the front and deli/bakery in the back. Meat and seafood are along the back wall, with HABA and pharmacy along the front wall opposite produce.
In addition to an extensive prepared foods selection, there is a seating area upstairs.
The colors of the store are fantastic, with dark and neutral colors for everything except the signage and the products. Very high-end result.
A look at the cheese island next to the produce department. Look how shiny that floor is!
Looking up towards the front of the store, we can see the to-order grill counter, hot food bars, and deli (in that order, left to right). Produce is behind me in the above picture.
Bakery to the left above with seafood in the back corner. Butcher and meat continue along the back wall.
One last look at the produce department (and bulk foods here) before we head out to seafood.
Dairy runs along the back wall on the far side of the store. Because the store is newly built, most of the cases are closed upright cases (with some exceptions in meat and deli).
Strangely, dairy is on the back wall and continues down an aisle, and frozen also takes up interior aisles, the last aisle is paper products (and branded as a full department!). The dairy aisle, though, looks straight out of a sci-fi movie...
The bottled water department takes up the back corner of the store. Wow!
A look down a grocery aisle.
The paper goods aisle takes you to pharmacy (which is located on the side wall, so that it can also function as a drive-through on the other side), with additional HABA on the front wall.
The new (and renovated) ShopRite stores have really the best HABA departments in the area. I've gotten accustomed to the selection to the point that it's difficult to find certain brands I rely on at other stores in Massachusetts now (you'd be surprised how hard to find Barbasol shaving cream is). The front-end continues past HABA.
Here's a quick look at the self-checkout area and the catering counter, which is just to the right when you enter the store. Apologies for the limited and blurry pictures, but this was several cell phones ago, as with most of the material for this past week. Next week we go back to brand-new material!


4701 Freemansburg Ave, Bethlehem, PA
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
(610) 865-2439
Photographed September 2016


  1. The Colalillo's first store with this decor package was the ShopRite of Greenwich-Phillipsburg, NJ (which you and I have talked about in the past) with it being remodeled in early 2014. It was rather abbreviated with less flowery department names, and product imagery. I personally like the prototype better than the original! The most recent store to receive this decor is the congested ShopRite of Clinton, NJ, with unusually low ceilings, and therefore high shelving.

    For the Bethlehem store, it is definitely quite a feat for a chain that had previously failed in the greater Lehigh Valley area, and I'm personally glad to see it thriving. It's refreshing to see a competitor in this area that isn't Giant or Weis, which are both scattered throughout Bethlehem, Allentown, and Easton.

    1. Lots of good points! So then the ShopRite of Yardley (which also has this decor) must have opened soon after Phillipsburg was renovated, since it opened in August 2014. I know someone who is a regular shopper at the Clinton ShopRite, although I haven't talked to her about the latest renovation. She is generally not a fan of the low ceilings but does really like the store otherwise.

      You're right about the reentry to the Lehigh Valley. Do you know who owned the original LV stores? That's something I've been trying to find out. I seem to remember hearing that at least some were Big V, which would explain the complete pull-out. I hope the Bethlehem ShopRite is doing well, although I haven't been back since I took these pictures.

    2. I have no idea who owned the original LV stores (as I wasn't out here at that time), but I will do my best to find out!

      Any ShopRite around here does well. Both the Phillipsburg and Bethlehem ShopRites are ALWAYS busy. I don't think they'll ever close due to the towns without supermarkets around here. For instance, Bethlehem serves not only its own town, but also Allentown, Easton, Wilson, and towns south of Easton all the way into Bucks County.

    3. Good question - in a Nov 2000 article from the NY Times Big V had 39 stores in NY NJ and PA, with 7 to close in NY & PA in the next 3 months (but no details).

      Then an Aug 2001 article details closing of a store in Wilkes-Barre that had only opened that January as part of a planned entry to the Wyomissing Valley (the rest of which never happened).

      Finally the July 2002 article from Progressive Grocer that Wakefern was acquiring the remainder of Big V, which now had 27 stores only in the Hudson Valley of NY and Central NJ (meaning that 5 stores had closed since 2000, including any that had been in PA NOT including the one in 2001 which was not part of the original 32 count).

    4. The article at the following link suggests (although it's hard to tell, because they don't ever name SRS or Big V by name) that at least the Whitehall location was corporately-owned (SRS), which may indicate that it was a Big V previously, although of course that's not conclusive.

      On the other hand, this article indicates that the Lehigh Street ShopRite in Allentown was actually owned by Foodarama Supermarkets (now Saker Supermarkets). The Whitehall ShopRite at the time, 1992, was also a Foodarama store. It ends saying that the ShopRite of Easton is not owned by Foodarama; I had not previously been aware of an Easton ShopRite.

  2. Saw this decor recently at the Philipsburg SR (also a Colalillo location-- they tell you on the cart corrals, first time I've seen something like that). Was pretty cool looking in person. I asked an employee. they apparently got this look about two years ago (we hadn't been to that SR in at least 4).

    1. Sounds about right, although as A&P Preservation mentions above, the renovation probably took place slightly earlier than that. I am also a big fan of this decor package!


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