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TOUR: ShopRite - Wharton, NJ

ShopRite of Wharton
Owner: Irv Glass / Glass Gardens
Opened: 2001
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 315 NJ-15, Wharton, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
A few days ago we saw an update at the ShopRite of Rockaway out on 46 just east of Dover. Today we are going just north of Dover where 15 and 80 intersect, a whopping two miles from the Rockaway ShopRite, to visit the Wharton ShopRite. It's a bit newer than Rockaway, with construction finishing in 2001. We also know the age because of the older and newer logos seen around the store...
...and at nearly 90,000 square feet, it's a giant of a store, eventually putting the nearby Rockaway ACME out of business. The corner entrance is a lot like Rochelle Park, although this store was more intentionally built that way instead of evolving over time.
The layout is much like Rockaway, with the entrance bringing us in through a hallway past the liquor store, Dunkin' Donuts, pharmacy, customer service, and floral.
Looking back up towards the front entrance. And if we turn around 180 degrees, we enter the grand aisle with produce on the left side and deli/prepared foods along the right side in an island.
Although I don't believe the store has been renovated since it opened, we do see a few upgrades here in produce, most notably the replacement of the carpeted flooring with wood laminate. Some of the cases also look to have been replaced.
And a look at the deli/prepared foods part to the right...
So I don't think anybody's going to claim that the interior design of this store is beautiful these days, although it probably looked pretty good when it first opened. What I wonder, though, is why these giant stores were being built with such low ceilings. It really makes the space feel cramped as compared to the actual size of the store.
As we move through the store, we see that the departments are named with local town and landmark names. Boonton Bakery and, my favorite, Wharton Wharf...
...along the back wall with meat following.
Crazy ceiling design here!
HABA in the first few aisles, and the rest are standard groceries. I've always enjoyed the selection of dry goods at the Glass Gardens stores. Perishables are not my favorite here but they're alright.
The meat department takes up the back wall.
Some of this department signage is looking pretty dated but the store is still in good condition.
Looking back up towards the grand aisle.
And looking towards the last aisle, we move in to Denville Dairy, which coincidentally is an actual place out in Denville.
19 aisles, with frozen in 18 and one side of 19. Notice that the middle row of cases is newer (to the right above) and would've originally been open coffin cases that were replaced at some point.
Additional frozen cases take up the front wall, with a few remaining coffin cases in the front. The decor peters out here a bit, and I actually wonder if this was previously a different department since the wall is a different color with no decor at all.
And we wrap up with a look at the familiar endless Glass Gardens front end, which gets a workout in this store without a doubt...
Don't forget to see today's other post, a former ACME just across the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, here, and tomorrow, we move just north of 80 for a look inside a former grocery store here in Wharton on Grocery Archaeology!


  1. I've never been a fan of this place. It feels like a dungeon. As you mentioned, the ceilings are really low inside and it's unfortunate that they didn't design the place so windows could run along the wall behind the registers. I guess a lot of ShopRites are like this but for some reason this place feels a bit claustrophobic despite being 90,000 square feet!

    1. Yeah I don't know why. It's not the most appealing in design which is strange because it's not that old, and the newer (and older, for that matter) Glass Gardens stores are designed very differently.

  2. For those who are interested, the exact opening date of this supermarket was June 18, 2001.

    Based on these photos, I never would have guessed that this supermarket was nearly 90,000 square feet.

    The decor of this ShopRite definitely looks dated. Now, I sometimes consider that to be a good thing, but that's only if said decor possess a vintage charm (as I felt was the case, for instance, in the former Morris Plains ShopRite). But this decor is largely forgettable. The older Rockaway store looks far more impressive now that it was recently renovated, so it's past time for the Wharton ShopRite to get a makeover.

    I must say, however, that I am impressed that both the Rockaway and Wharton stores can each do such huge business despite being so close to each other. (Had I been ShopRite or the Glass Family, I would've been reluctant to open the Wharton store for fear of cannibalizing sales at the Rockaway location.) Are there any other ShopRites that are located so close to one another? And does any other chain in New Jersey currently have two such nearby stores?

    --A&P Fan

    1. Yeah, the decor is not overly impressive here, but these two stores do very well very close together. Remember that they are on the two sides of Dover, which is not a big city but certainly a substantial enough town with only a relatively small supermarket in town (Extra). Plus, they draw from all the surrounding suburbs. Lots of potential customers all around.

  3. Actually, surprise, surprise!!! This store was just renovated very recently. The decor isn't like how it was before, but it does look more modern. (Zachary, you'll need to go back, and re photograph the store, if you haven't already ;-)) The layout remains the exact same. To elaborate more on the concerns from the last post, both stores have huge business, so there has been no loss from one store over another. The ShopRites in Millburn and Springfield are very close to one another, however, as Zachary has pointed out, Springfield's is much more comprehensive in offerings.

    1. Oh nice! I didn't know this before your comment, and I saw a couple pictures on Google Maps that look pretty good. I will need to go back!

  4. The Saker stores in Hamilton Square and Hamilton Marketplace are about 3 miles apart and both do a ton of business.

    1. True, and those are really nice stores too. Both are relatively new or recently renovated.

  5. SupermarketFan and Mike, thanks for providing other examples of successful ShopRites that are close to one another.

    SupermarketFan, thank you also for letting us know that the Wharton ShopRite has been renovated very recently. It will be really interesting to see how the store now looks inside.

    --A&P Fan


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