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TOUR: Stop & Shop - Highland Park, NJ

Stop & Shop
Opened: ca. 2000
Previous Tenants: Mayfair Foodtown > Edwards
Location: 424 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
Our first of two stores here in Highland Park is the wonderful classic Stop & Shop downtown. It's a lot like the one we saw not long ago in Westfield, about 11 miles to the northeast. At 26,000 square feet, it's about 6000 square feet larger. Like Westfield, it has its original decor and the classic Mayfair Foodtown layout, though it's a bit different from Westfield.
The store is extremely outdated and not particularly well-maintained, like Westfield, but it's nice to have a small town store like this. I have a good friend who lives just a few blocks behind the store and enjoys walking to it.
Meat lines the left side of the first aisle with kosher foods on the right. The backroom is actually to the left and the store extends all the way to the back wall. Dairy lines the back wall, and there's no second aisle along the back wall. Produce is strangely enough in the second aisle with frozen foods in the last aisle. Unlike Westfield, this store does not have a bakery but does have a very tiny deli in the front right corner opposite the entrance.
Taking a look at the decor in the front corner here. The front wall is to the left above, with the bunting hanging from it. I'd be surprised if the meat cases didn't date back to the store's Mayfair days. I'm also almost positive the particle board-style wall (I don't know if there's a better word for it) dates back to the Mayfair decor, although the rest of the decor we see would've been installed by Stop & Shop around 2000 when they opened up.
Clearly there was a service seafood counter here at one point, but it is long gone. As I mentioned, the backroom is on the left side of the store -- notice the emergency exit on the back wall.
We can see there are a few different textures on the back wall and a few different paint jobs, probably patched at some point. It's funny, with these great high ceilings as was so common in 1950s-era stores, the decor just disappears.
You know, now that I think about it, perhaps the produce-in-the-second-aisle thing was common for Mayfair. We saw the same layout at Pueblo in Newark, also a former Mayfair, although that store has certainly been more extensively changed than this one. I am unsure whether this store was built as a Food Fair as Pueblo was.
I love everything about this retro customer service counter. Everything about it is perfect -- right down to the warped ceiling tile right over the middle of the counter. At least I hope that's warped and not actively bulging with water. Someone should probably check that. Anyway... we can also see the Edwards clock up on the front wall there, which I got a close-up of in Edison South.
Like so many smaller stores out there, this Stop & Shop displays merchandise hanging along the top of some of the grocery shelving.
Those green cutout pictures are pretty cool. If they were painted black and the little red dots were removed, they would actually look much more modern. Notice the aisle markers say only "Stop & Shop" instead of the more common "Super Stop & Shop" since so many of these small stores had been closed or expanded over the years.
Some nonfood items that can't be hung from above the shelving are displayed here towards the end of the store. Funny how the top panel actually goes in front of the column!
We're returning to the back wall for some dairy and frozen closeups. Definitely a few different generations of repaints here!
Pretty sad frozen corner back here. Either there was previously a longer stripe or more lettering there that has since fallen down, or there's just a lot of empty space in this decor packge. Why does that lettering have to be so tiny? Frozen foods continue down the outside wall of the store...
I have no idea why my phone decided this picture was to come out orange, but here we go. Frozen foods line the outside of aisle 11, with bread facing.
In the front corner, we have the deli under a lower ceiling.
The deli had been reduced in size due to the coronavirus, but it looks to have been cut back significantly anyway. I love the ceiling pattern above this section! I'm assuming there is an office above this section, though I can't actually remember that being the case.
Funny how this store is larger than Westfield but has a smaller deli-bakery. Anyway, check out the slogan on the front wall and the Edwards lane markers!
That's all for our tour of this charming but extremely outdated store! I can't imagine, like Westfield, that Stop & Shop will keep this tiny old location for much longer, but I'm glad I got to see it while I could. Our other store today is a small kosher supermarket at the other end of town over on The Independent Edition, and tomorrow, we have another pairing back over into Edison of one store on here and one on The Independent Edition!

Comments

  1. Pretty sure those lane markers are S&S and not Edwards. They were used in S&S stores converted from Grand Union as well as those opened after the Edwards conversions.

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    1. Yes, you're right. That occurred to me when I saw some of my pictures of Massachusetts S&S stores with them.

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    2. Those aisle markers were indeed put in when the store converted to S&S; the Edwards ones were different. And yes, the particle board wall is from the Mayfair days, while the ceiling by the deli is from the Edwards days.

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    3. The original exterior facade actually matched the particle board interior look. As far back as I can remember, it had a Foodtown logo with red letters in the same font as the standard corporate logo used around 1978-94. Edwards initially kept this facade, then redid it to the current one around two years in. It looked much better with the Edwards sign than with any of the three ones S&S used. The first one was a really small rectangular sign with red letters on a white background, which looked really out of place.

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  2. Couple o comments:

    1) Stop & Shop got rid of most of their small store seafood counters in the mid-2000s in stores that had them. Mine was one. If I’m not mistaken, the ones in the bigger stores were scaled back as well; I seem to remember the selling space for the Clifton Commons store cut by about half for those cases.

    2) surprised you didn’t take a tour of the Rite Aid up the street. It’s the oddest one I’ve ever been to.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting, thanks for the comments! I will have to check out the Rite Aid at another time.

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    2. The Rite Aid used to be a Drug Fair, and retained that store's liquor license.

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  3. This store is now closing, I think sometime next year. I was wondering if it would close as they haven’t done any upgrades to this store at all.

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