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TOUR: ShopRite - Wayne, NJ

ShopRite of Wayne
Owner: Inserra Supermarkets
Opened: 1970s/80s
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 625 Hamburg Tpk, Wayne, NJ
Photographed: June 2016 and July 2020
Today's store tour is just up the street from the former A&P, Stop & Shop, and Corrado's we've seen the past few days, being about a mile and a half east on Hamburg Turnpike. The impending relocation of this 59,000 square foot store to the Wayne Hills Mall (i.e., even closer to the other three) is probably less about the square footage, although the new store will be 20,000 square feet larger. The main problem is that this location is bad, away from the central retail area on Hamburg Turnpike, which is a tertiary retail section anyway (US-46 forms a major retail corridor in Wayne, and NJ-23 is the next largest in town), along with the fact that as we'll see this facility is very outdated. Plus, this store is nearly invisible from Hamburg Turnpike. So when the store needed updating, it probably just made sense to invest in an all-new store.
While I do love the retro look of this store, it's a pretty safe bet that the new store will look much like the new Wyckoff location, which is beautiful. Now I photographed this store way back in 2016, when my cell phone camera was not wonderful, so please excuse the blurry pictures. But then I did something that I've never done before -- I returned to, and completely re-photographed, the store this past July. So I've combined the two picture sets (and, while nothing has really changed in those four years, if you must know which is which, the blurrier ones are older).
So I commented back in New City how the earlier Inserra stores hide all the perishable departments. We'll see how that's definitely the case here. You enter to aisle 4, with pharmacy being just to the right of the entrance. You have to turn right to pass the pharmacy and the floral on the front wall, before entering produce and salad bar (gone by 2020) in the first aisle. Meat lines the back wall with dairy and frozen at the far end. Bakery is in the front corner opposite the entrance, with a small seating area behind it (strange, since there is no prepared foods department here). Deli and seafood are in an island in the middle of the grocery aisles, with deli facing the front and seafood facing the back. In other words, they are completely invisible from all directions.
This front corner area looks to have been remodeled much more recently than the rest of this store, which for the record appears to be much older than New City. This corner, which is closed off from the rest of the store, has a pharmacy, a ShopRite from Home department, and a dietitian's office.
Ah, the mirrored floral department with some good ol' neon. Let's just say that this department has not aged nearly as well as the rest of the store.
Sharper shot from 2020.
Small salad bar opposite the floral department, which had been removed and replaced with more produce shelving, with the produce department behind it in the first aisle.
Clearly this is not the most modern store, but I'd actually say this store's decor has aged better than New City's because it's more attractive to begin with. Each department is labeled with a large mural of a street scene (Streetside Sights & Scenes, anyone?) with the department name in script lettering.
Very nice! It looks handpainted, but I don't know for sure that it is.
A&P-styled grocery aisles here, with limited ceiling lighting but lit shelving. In this store, it makes for a very dingy center store.
Aisle 4 looking towards the entrance, which you can see straight ahead.
Another dim grocery aisle looking towards meat on the back wall.
A clearer aisle shot from 2020.
Some products are divided with these panels, featuring the old ShopRite logo (oddly done partially in white) and the older Inserra logo, the newer version of which you can see over on the Wyckoff post.
My original tour didn't include a look at the meat department on the back wall, so here's a newer picture of that.
What's that we see hiding behind all those other grocery aisles? That looks like the "Appetizing" department...
The front of the department is the deli counter, which is hidden from view by seasonal items. The right side (here, closer to produce) is packaged deli and rotisserie chickens, with seafood on the back and cheese on the other side of the island.
Notice how the island doesn't even align with the grocery aisles. Why was this considered a good idea? I have another store nearby photographed that we'll see soon with the same island arrangement.
Cheese on the side of the island.
And a clearer 2020 shot of cheese and seafood on the back.
Older picture of seafood in the back, facing into the grocery aisles. I don't believe there's a sign for this department, so it's possible it was a later addition. (Those service seafood cases also look newer than the self-serve deli/cheese cases.)
And, because this makes lots and lots of organizational sense, frozen foods face the deli-seafood island.
I count five generations of frozen cases all in use at once here.
Dairy lines the left half of the back wall. This store's meat and dairy sections seem very, very small. Moving into the last aisle...
21 aisles in total, although they are very short. I've gotta say, the decor has held up nicely but these aisle markers are just awful. They clearly are much newer than the decor (featuring an oddly truncated version of the 2002 logo) but that does not make them... good.
Bread and chips take up the last aisle.
A look at the bakery department in the front corner. The store is just as dark as it seems (although, in the newer pictures, my phone corrects the lighting to make it brighter). As I mentioned, there's a small seating area just  around the corner from the bakery which I find exceedingly odd as there are no prepared foods to be found here other than the salad bar, which is all the way on the other side of the store.
I will say, the front-end is the one really cool aspect of the store. There are exits on either side of this enclosed foyer.
Since I've never seen this on any other store, I almost wonder if this was a direct response to the A&P Futurestore format, one of which was located nearby on Valley Road. Today, that location is being prepared for a Whole Foods, which we'll see soon. Now, if you continue east on Hamburg Turnpike you'll head straight into Paterson, the largest city in this region, and we'll get there. But first we've got to finish Wayne, with a quick interruption tomorrow on The Independent Edition for a store just to the southeast of here before we see our last three Wayne stores.


  1. Grand Union did a version of that "island" in their stores in the early 1990's (these, if you can find one still used as a market and not too remodeled have a glass front with a small sloped roof section). Theirs was just deli, cheeses and prepared foods (no seafood - that was, I believe, still in the back next to meat).
    However, their deli counter faced directly to the checkout lanes in the front, but the back (usually the cheeses) had a couple short aisles between it and the back of the store (generally meats). So at least a bit more visible in the front but not so much in the back.

    1. You are correct! And in a little more than a week, we'll be taking a look at one of those stores (Paramus, which I know Acme Style has also given coverage of).

  2. That mirrored, neon-signed floral department may indeed be dated. But it is also glorious.

    1. Glorious indeed. For what it's worth, some of the newer Inserra stores and remodels actually include reproduction neon-style signs for a retro feel. But it's nice to see the real thing!

  3. The green flooring in the grand aisle, as well as that mirror-and-neon wall amuse me greatly. Those aisle markers and shopping carts... are just jarring to look at.

    1. Oh yes. This store is nothing short of a complete experience for all the senses.


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