Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Timewarped Stop & Shop Remains In West Springfield


Check those expiration dates! Roll that cart back down that aisle! Way back...

The Caldor Rainbow has uncovered a true gem of chain supermarket-dom somewhat rare, even around these parts, an old-school Stop & Shop. Along the stretching retail hub in West Springfield, Mass., a timewarped interior Stop & Shop with plenty of long-bygone signage you might not have seen in decades still exists.

But for how much longer?

W. SPRINGFIELD, MA -- Stop & Shop, just one of 11 in a 10-mile blast radius, at Riverdale Shops plaza along Riverdale Street is an endangered species among the entirety of stores in the leading Northeast supermarket chain, Stop & Shop. In just the last year or so, the vital and somewhat aggressive remodeling campaign sought to transform many of the falling behind 25+ year "Super Stop & Shop"-era stores into newly-faced, in-and-out and color-schemed with "fruit basket" logo stores, we caught our first glimpse of in mid-2008.

Like mega-retailer Walmart, the chain followed a similar campaign, rapidly overhauling many of its stores that flood the Northeast market as the dominant, prominent supermarketeer. In 2010, finding a "Super Stop & Shop" is endangered. Finding one with signage from the mid-80's is, well, near impossible.


Twas an ordinary lunch run on a gray afternoon. Approaching the entrance, immediately visible from the parking lot was a maroon awning with a retro "Pharmacy" sign, sending a flash back to the 80's and early 90's-era of the chain's funkier signage. Upon entering the store, furthering into time's abyss, we witnessed architectural marvel all around us; spots of wood paneling, brown-tinted and paneled shelving and endcaps but shockers abound: the retro signage -- almost all of it. I further looked for a video rental store...




"The Bake Shop", complete with exuberantly grinning bakery man all still in-tact, complete with a putrid, yet lovely outdated, earthtoned Caldor Rainbow-style motif all over the rims of the walls. Zigzag "Creamery" signs, "Butcher Shop" and "Frozen Foods" all sent me back just a little.


Looking around for a nearby USA Today, I had to rest assure I didn't just step into a wormhole, sending me back to 1986. "Great Scott!"

Know of any Stop & Shop's that have missed a few eras of remodel? Please let us know as we find more and fight atrocious spammers attempting to hijack the often vacant Caldor Rainbow.

Here's to my readers, reporting safely in the present: March 23, 2010.

46 comments:

Ken Reid said...

This is kind of great. Almost worth taking a drive out there. The Narragansett, RI store was liked this for years, as was the Saugus, MA and Stoneham locations, but those (at least the two MA locations) have all been revamped. I wonder if this location is on "the list"

George said...

Thanks for the update. I check this blog daily because these sorts of glimpses into the past remind me of a simpler time; like when I lived outside of Binghamton, NY in the early 1990s. It's a shame that our retail culture has moved so far away from how it was back then.

Michael Andrews said...

I just have to say, this blog is always a real treat when it's updated. I read a lot of blogs and when this one has a new article it brightens up my day, and I really have no idea why.

Keep 'em coming! :)

Joseph RIfkin said...

WOW! This brings back memories that date prior to 1995... I remember these tones (similar, but not exact) to the Newtown CT Super S&S (opened in 1990). But I can never forget the orange stripes over the freezers! The pharmacy's purple overhang changed to teal somewhere in the late 80s early 90s though...

Heather said...

Wow, that definitely takes me back.

I went to one (On Chase Avenue) of the 3 (I think that's all there is) Stop and Shops in Waterbury, CT and that was a shock too because that store is 100% updated to the newest decor whereas the one I normally frequent, a Super Stop and Shop in Torrington, CT, and a regular Stop and Shop in Litchfield, CT are still stuck in the green aisle signage era.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update! Always a treat when you post new stuff. Ive gotta admit that I like that retro signage better than the new stop & shop logos in the newly remodeled stores.
Does anyone remember (back in the day)the stop & shop stores that were actually connected to bradlees stores? I used to go to one in East Haven, Ct when I was very young - there was a huge opening in the wall between the two stores, although, from what I recall, you couldnt take unpaid merchandise between stores. I guess that was sort of an early superstore, since both stores (I believe) had the same parent company.

Anonymous said...

This one is a gem, Ive worked in said store and many others doing repair service, the next oldest one i can think of is the West Hartford, CT store.. changed badging from a stop & shop to Super stop and shop, and now dons a window sticker showing the new fruit basket logo. This one probably will go away when they build a new store in town on the elmwood side of town probably in a year or so. Next time i am in the store i will try to get pictures for you

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic, but I have an old KB Toys ad from 79 with a list of all their stores nationwide at that time. If you're interested, let me know how to send it to you.

mike721ct said...

I think Nick was refering to the actual video rental shops they had in store (where the peoples banks are now). I worked at the North Haven store in the mid 90s they used to have one

joemango said...

rare photos of the Ansonia, CT mall on facebook... look for the group called "I used to hang out at the ansonia mall!"

Jay Hart said...

That's very interesting, but I'm guessing it won't last long until they remodel it with the new fruit basket logo.

Here in Torrington, CT; we have a long standing Super Stop & Shop at the west end of town. There's a new Stop & Shop (obviously with the new fruit basket logo) being built on the east end.

I don't know yet if the new east end store is replacing the west end store, but I doubt it for now. we'll probably just have two stores in our one town. So I'm wondering if the west end store will soon get a remodel to the fruit basket logo, guess we'll wait and see.

differentbutthesame said...

Awe-SOME. God-bless western Mass!

Anonymous said...

The West end torrington store is in the middle of a remodel

Jay Hart said...

Anonymous: Yup, recently saw that when I was at Torrington's west end store. As I thought, they're updating probably to coincide with the new east end store being constructed.

The changes are all interior so far, with signage and other things being updated to the fruit basket logo. I'm guessing we'll probably see exterior changes soon, in terms of replacing the old "Super Stop & Shop" logos with the fruit basket logo. We'll see if that happens.

There's a lot of work going on right now in Torrington actually. Stop & Shop is constructing an east end store while the west end store gets a remodel. On the east end, Walmart is also currently in a remodel; probably updating to their new "sunburst" logo. But so far, all interior changes, we'll see if the exterior changes to the new logo.

mike721ct said...

If the Stop & Shop renovation in Torrington is anything like the one done in Middletown last year they will just be cosmetic changes to look like the new style (I dont think they are spending the money on full remodels at this time). The bakeshop, florist and natural foods will not move as they did in past full remodels. They will change the signage on the outside of the building but will not make any changes to the structure as they have in past remodels. When they remodeled the stores in North Haven and Wallingford (which used to look like the one in cromwell or the current torrington store) they moved the bakeshop to the side near the produce and moved the florist where the bakeshop used to be, they moved the natural food from the old cheese shope to the other side of the store aswell. In early remodels such as those in North Haven they also moved the frozen foods more toward the center of the store near right after the grocery section and then the HBA and general merchandise/seasonal areas moved toward the end of the store where frozen foods used to be, with natural foods in the last isle. They also used to completely change the front of the building by tearing down the face and reconstructing it to look like the newer stores in Rocky Hill, Berlin, and the new Bristol store. Actually the North Haven store was one of the first to be renovated to look like the new stores and it looks more like the stores in South Windosr and Glastonbury where they have the greenhouse with the greenhouse entrance door which has since been blocked off and is always locked. This was all done under the old stop sign logo though.

The only store I have seen built from scratch with the new logo (never had the stop sign; although the comming soon sign had the stop sign) is the one in Unionville, and that one is completely different from any Stop & Shop I've ever seen (not counting stores that used to be Edwards or any other store). I think it may have been because they had less space to work with but the floor plan is very different even from the new stores like Rocky Hill that opened right before the fruit basket logo. Unionville also has open celings which I have seen in a store way up in like Cannan, which also seemed a little smaller than usual. The newer one in Berlin also seems smaller than usual but it has a tile celing, and both stores were built with the stop sign logo.

When does the new Torrington store open? I am curious to see what it is going to look like and if the floorplan will be like that of Rocky Hill or Unionville.

Im also curious if anyone knows anything more about remodels. I know from this board that the store in Torrington will be remodeled, and I know that the Wethersfield store is going to be remodeled. Does anyone know the extent of these remodels? and if there are any plans to remodel Cromwell? Hopefully full remodels and not this cheap "redecorating" ive seen in Middletown.

mike721ct said...

Does anyone on know anything about Target? I know that Target Corp has said they will not be opening that many stores in 2010 and will instead renovate many of their stores in what they call the P-Fresh model; where they have an isle with some pre-packaged meats baked goods and produce. While its not a Super Target you can pretty much get from a P-Fresh store what you can get at an Aldi. The only P-Fresh store we have here in CT is the newest store in Lisbon. Im wondering if anyone knows if any of the older Target stores are slated to get a P-Fresh remodel soon? Im especially thinking that the New Britain Target Greatland would be one of the first ones since the Greatland format has been discontinued by the company anyway. Next I would think any of the older stores that dont have Starbucks and that have that generic big box look with the blocky or arched entrance like Meriden, South Windsor, Waterford, Newington, or Bethel. Then again it may be easier to turn a newer store like the Southington store into a P-Fresh store because they would only have to move around some isles to make room for the P-Fresh isle.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are interested in Kmart, but I heard there was a store in Watertown, CT that has the original 1970's logo. I thought you might be interested.

Marc said...

Stop & Shop on Pine Street in the Forestville section of Bristol, CT is getting a remodel. The store open in 95 and it's the first time they're over-hauling it. I think they need to do Southington to because it's a little older than Forestville, I believe, plus they need to be able to compete when Shoprite opens in January 2011.

Julie said...

6/29/10 Sadly, my local store in Fairhaven was just renovated and everyone seems to hate it!

Retaining an old look never seems like a good idea at the time because customers see the changes in other stores and think the holdout is behind the times, even if it has modernized in every possible non-cosmetic way. But resurrecting an old look a few decades later, in just a few willing stores, strikes me as genius. It's a real attraction for the nostalgia-hungry.

Anonymous said...

Where are you? I check this blog for updates everyday, but haven't seen an update for 4 months.

Mark said...

GEEZ, how about an update to your page where are you? please respond!!

Anonymous said...

It's been FOREVER. Make an update!!!

builditfilmitm said...

I live right near this stop & shop and bad news, there remodeling this one. They took down the old signs and replacing them with the new logo :(

builditfilmitm said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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greg8370 said...

I guess this blog is dead now. Too bad, I enjoyed the updates. Thanks for all your hard work in the past Nick and thanks for keeping the blog up from a reference point of view.
Time to put up a GOB pic.

greg
1/3/11

Tracey Staback said...

Wanna give a shout out to my Uncle David Fries.He was produce manager of the Wallingford, CT Stop & Shop for 30 years. He passed away on December 20, 2010. R.I.P Uncle Dave!

Jess said...

bring your blog back! there's gotta be more places you can write about!

andrewturriza said...

Over one year, and no updates. I guess it's time to find another blog like this one.

3/25/11

DennisW said...

You are not aware of the store at the sunset triangle (Farmington Ave. & Boulevard) in West Hartford ? VERY small and old-school S&S.

Patsy said...

I absolutely love Bradlees. I have pics of my memorabilia I'd like to post but don't know how. Every time I see Bradlees related symbols I get all warm and tingly inside. It reminds me of good things like shopping there as a child, and working there as a young adult. Our Bradlees and Stop & Shop were the first Superstore.

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je said...

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Chris said...

The S&S in Middletown RI is of the Twilight Zone variety too...almost disconcerting how many memories are tied to that particular store layout...

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Anonymous said...

You're a beautiful writer. You write so eloquently and effortlessly. This blog is so interesting because its something that no one else talks about. Its not a boring daily summary of your life. Its about real places and real things and real nostalgia that bring smiles to others faces. I know this blog is now defunct, like many of the stores in your posts, but I think if you see this, you should consider bringing it back up again.

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jen* said...

I'm looking for images of employees from Caldor's, Bradlees, or Zayre's from the 80s! Any thoughts or pictures you know of?
Thanks!

Ken Sweet said...

Incredible. This blog is a true time-warp, an inspiring glimpse into the past. I grew up in the 80s and some of these photos and descriptions are reminding me of moments and places I had forgotten. The effort you have put into the research and presentation of each article is wild, and for a Gen-X writer like myself, it is also inspirational. Thanks, and keep it up.