Stop & Shop aims to make a bigger splash in the Big Apple.
The Quincy, Mass.-based supermarket chain, part of Ahold Delhaize USA, said it plans a $140 million capital investment to upgrade its New York City stores, with a focus on enhancing the shopping experience and bolstering the product selection to cater to a diverse urban market. The first NYC location to be remodeled, the Bay Plaza Stop & Shop at 2136 Bartow Ave. in the Bronx, is holding a ribbon-cutting event today with local government officials, community leaders and customers, who will be treated to product samples, giveaways and live music through the two-day grand opening celebration.
Operating in New York City for over two decades, Stop & Shop employs more than 3,300 associates and has 25 stores in the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The retailer also offers home delivery in all five boroughs, including Manhattan.
At the center of the store updates is a “significantly expanded assortment” that will add with thousands of new items across departments, Stop & Shop noted. For example, the Bay Plaza location in the Bronx will introduce a new 1,000-item section called “Global Market” that features products from 14 countries and regions, such as authentic West Indian and Caribbean offerings with products specific to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica as well as Halal meat, dairy and grocery items.
Similarly, the remodel of the Stop & Shop store in Maspeth, Queens, will enlarge its product assortment for Chinese and South American shoppers, while customers of the chain’s Sheepshead Bay store in Brooklyn will find more Eastern European and Kosher foods, Stop & Shop said. Other NYC stores will carry hundreds of products made in the metropolitan New York area, such as West African fonio chips from NYC-based Yolélé and Mike’s Amazing vegetable oils and mayonnaise.
The store remodels will bring a “fresh new look and feel” plus a sharper focus on value, deploying more sale bins and serving up more special deals on relevant products spotlighted in an NYC-specific weekly circular ad, according to Stop & Shop.
In addition, the grocery chain said it will be NYC’s first retailer to offer the free Flashfood mobile app. From Toronto-based Flashfood, the app gives shoppers access to exclusive deals on products — including meat, produce, seafood, dairy, deli and bakery — that are nearing their best-by date. In turn, the significantly reduced prices drive purchases of food that otherwise would go to the retailer’s waste stream. Stop & Shop, which earlier this year expanded the Flashfood program to more markets, said users can get discounts of up to 50% off and regular shoppers can save over $500 a year on their grocery bills. Flashfood launched at the Bay Plaza store on June 10 and is slated to roll out to other New York stores later this year.
“We’re proud to make such a significant investment in New York City, and we’re excited to show customers that we can be the one-stop shop for everything they need and that we’re delivering great value, particularly in this current economic environment,” Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said in a statement.
To support the NYC communities it serves, Stop & Shop also has pledged $1 million this year to fight food insecurity across the boroughs. The commitment includes further sponsorship of the Food Bank for New York City’s Mobile Pantry and a new food security initiative in partnership with Montefiore Hospital & Quincy Asian Resources. The food bank’s Mobile Pantry will kick off an eight-week distribution of fresh produce and pantry staples in Queens’ Ozone Park neighborhood on June 24. Stop & Shop said it’s also “significantly expanding” the Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program in the boroughs. Established to ensure students have regular access to fresh food, the program will support over 30 in-school pantries across NYC by the end of this year.
“We’re committed to fighting hunger in the boroughs, and as part of our $1 million commitment, we’re investing nearly half a million in the city’s public schools and colleges to ensure local students have consistent access to healthy food so they can succeed in the classroom and beyond,” Reid commented.
Boosting market share in key metropolitan markets like New York City is a linchpin of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize’s strategic plan to generate another $11 billion-plus in global sales by 2025.
To that end, Stop & Shop has recently partnered with NYC-based online grocer FreshDirect, acquired by Ahold Delhaize USA in January 2021, to help create an “omnichannel ecosystem” that brings more convenience, personalization and value to customers via brick-and-mortar and digital channels. The ecosystem concept is designed to capitalize on densely populated markets with strong affinities for Ahold Delhaize’s local supermarket banners.
“We made good progress with Stop & Shop and FreshDirect, where we plan to increase collaboration to accelerate growth and market share in New York City,” Ahold Delhaize President and CEO Frans Muller told analysts in a May conference call on first-quarter results. “I look forward to sharing more on this in the second half of the year.”
Ahold Delhaize’s largest U.S. business, Stop & Shop operates more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.