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TOUR: ShopRite - Netcong, NJ

ShopRite of Netcong
Owner: Dominick & David Romano / RoNetco Supermarkets
Opened: 1965
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 75 US-46, Netcong, NJ
Photographed: May & July 2020
We arrive at one of the most fun ShopRite stores, which is one of the oldest in operation. It moved from just up the street in 1965 to the modern 28,000 square foot facility which stands now. I can't believe the store is still standing -- and was in danger of closing 15 years ago -- but is now being prepared for a major renovation and expansion which had yet to begin at the time of my summer 2020 visit.
Although this store is quite small, it is not the smallest ShopRite. That honor goes to Chatham. But this one has certainly gotten less investment over the years.
The first thing we see in the front left corner is the liquor store tucked away in this corner. Pharmacy is on the left side of the first aisle, with produce filling the rest.
I doubt this store's layout has changed much, if at all, since day one.
This small alcove has dry produce and a random assortment of meat items at the end of the first aisle. Meats continue along the back wall, with bakery/deli in the back right corner. No seafood here.
Notice the awesome terrazzo flooring that extends across the whole store, and they're still in very good condition.
The customer service counter at the front of the second aisle is simply wonderful. It's really clear this store hasn't gotten a lot of significant updates -- maybe one big remodel in the 80s or 90s, which is still visible here.
Lots of vertical space taken advantage of here.
Looks like there may have been a seafood department at one time here, as the now-turned-off neon informs us of the FISH department.
The deli counter is located here but like many supermarkets, RoNetco closed its deli counters at the beginning of the coronavirus. They were also one of the last to bring them back, so my summer 2020 photos of the RoNetco stores will sadly be deli-free.
Aisle 10 is frozen along with some more (plus dairy) in aisle 11...
I'm forgetting exactly how this part of the store is set up but I believe there are a few weird corners, including possibly a little alcove in the front for dairy...? Anyhow, the above sign is interesting because it doesn't quite seem to match the rest of the decor. It's possible it's from some other remodeled store.
I believe this is the 12th aisle, which is not quite as long as the rest of the aisles. Aisle 11 extends a bit farther forward...
Moving onto the front end, we see a small upgrade with self-checkouts added at the far end of the store from the entrance.
I am very glad to have gotten to this store before it's renovated and expanded soon. But you can also be sure I'll be back when it happens!
Tomorrow we head east on 46 to the beginning of route 10, for a look at a current supermarket here on The Market Report and a former one over on Grocery Archaeology!

Comments

  1. From the exterior, I thought this was going to look similar to the Old Bridge store, and I'm pleased that it does not!

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    1. True! This store is in better shape than Old Bridge.

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  2. Yes, looks much nicer inside than the exterior would lead one to believe. I've passed by the store a few times over the years but have never stopped in mainly for this reason. A friend of mine moved to Netcong about 6 months ago and really enjoys shopping here. She too was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was inside considering its age.

    Can't find any word on when the expansion is supposed to begin. Things were held up for a while as a few homes on the right side needed to be acquired and torn down. Would be interesting to know how much ShopRite paid for them!

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    1. Yeah, I think the renovation has been in the works for a very long time. It's a friend-of-a-friend type of situation, but one of my high school teachers was from this area (and if I'm not mistaken, his parents own or owned Ron's Landmark, the restaurant next door) and even then they were talking about the renovation. I'm sure it'll happen eventually but it's sure not a speedy process.

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  3. Yet again, it looks like the only that has changed is the shopping carts! Seems to be the only thing to really get updated in many of these older supermarkets...

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  4. Thanks so much for taking the photographs of this store, as it is an absolute treasure. FYI, the exact opening date for this supermarket was September 15, 1965. By the way, on a wall near where the self-checkout lanes are, there is a photo of the former 125 Main Street location (back when it was a ShopRite).

    One thing that I find interesting is that this store "feels" smaller than the Chatham ShopRite, even though that's not the case. Perhaps the reason for this is that the Chatham store has a grand aisle whereas the Netcong ShopRite really does not have one.

    If I were to venture a guess, this store's current decor package is from the 1980s. The aisle markers are obviously much newer; on the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the refrigerator and freezer fixtures date back to the store's opening.

    The only time I visited this store was last month. At the time, the expansion hadn't yet begun, though the houses had been torn down.

    The supermarket aficionado in me thinks that it's quite regrettable that this store is going to get a complete makeover (and expansion). However, from a business point of view, such a move is a no-brainer. Once again, I'm grateful that you were able to photograph this store before the dramatic changes occur.

    --A&P Fan

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    1. Of course, I'm really glad to have gotten to this store to photograph it first, too! I visited once many years ago and have been wanting to get back since. Worth a trip before construction starts for anyone who hasn't been!

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