ShopRite of Metro Plaza
Owner: Inserra Supermarkets
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 400 Metro Plaza Dr, Downtown, Jersey City, NJ
Photographed: December 2020
Our next tour is here at the ShopRit of Metro Plaza! Yep, the e seems to be long gone here, and I remember visiting this store years ago and two or three letters were missing then, too. The exterior sets the tone for the whole store, with its dingy awning and, on the side of the store, the pre-2002 ShopRite logo along with the Sovereign Bank logo covered by nothing more than tape, which in this area became Santander in 2013.
There is, however, a reason for the lack of maintenance on the 66,000 square foot store: it along with the complex it's in is slated to be demolished and replaced with a residential tower and some other spaces. (Last I heard, though, there wasn't a firm start date for that project, so it seems Inserra is just letting the store kind of slowly wind down on its own.)
Inside, the store was last renovated around 2010, I'd estimate. That renovation, though, seems to have been mostly cosmetic, with many of the fixtures clearly much older. I'm not entirely sure what was going on with the lighting in the store either, and we'll see that my phone interpreted the relatively dim lighting in a different shade in each picture.
We enter to aisles 1 and 2, which are produce. Seafood is at the back of the first aisle, with deli up next on the back wall. Meat, an entrance to the liquor store, and milk round out the rest of the back wall. Frozen foods line aisles 23-24 with dairy on the outside of aisle 25, the last aisle. Bakery takes up the front corner of the store, with customer service and pharmacy in islands on the front end.
Floral is next to the entrance on the front wall. Notice the mirrored front wall, something we saw in the older Wayne location. By the way, how is it that that store somehow feels less outdated than this one?
Sushi and seafood are at the back of the first aisle. Deli and prepared foods, then the meat department line the rest of the back wall, with an additional aisle running parallel to the back wall.
Hmmm... I think that uneven lettering in "the" was intentional. Not loving it. The Bayonne location to the south has the same decor package, but the store is so much nicer overall.
All my complaints aside, this store is clearly extremely popular.
The grocery aisles show the store's age, with the same mirrored tops that Wayne and Emerson have.
I must say, the meat decor is excellent. The single-tier meat island running along the back aisle of the store, however, is pretty elderly.
Shorter aisles with health and beauty and seasonal items extend behind the customer service and pharmacy counters, which are in islands on the front end.
The store is very wide, with a whopping 25 aisles. (Of course, that includes two that make up the produce department, but still that's a lot.)
The entrance to the liquor store on the back wall here is a little obscured by the cart of stock, but we can see nonetheless. Dairy takes up this back corner of the store, with the rest lining the last aisle. Frozen foods take up the third- and second-to-last aisles.
I'm assuming the coffin cases here, like the older fixtures in meat and produce, will not be replaced anytime soon because the store itself is slated to be replaced.
The bakery department in the front corner is quite small proportional to the rest of the store, which seems to be a common trait in Inserra stores.
And moving along the front end, we find pharmacy and customer service islands, here facing the registers. Notice that there's less space on the front-end than a similarly laid out store like Palisades Park, and because the stores are identical in size I'd hypothesize that's because there's simply more space in a less-crowded, more suburban store like Palisades Park.
(Also, what's up with that display right here in the foreground? Why is there only a toy shopping cart on it and what should be on it?)
That's all for this ShopRite! Up next we're going to head about half a mile to the northeast to tour one one of this store's smaller competitors that also seems to be its least popular. Come back tomorrow to check it out!