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"The Bake Shop", complete with exuberantly grinning bakery man all still in-tact, complete with a putrid, yet lovely outdated, earthtoned Caldor Rainbow-style motif all over the rims of the walls.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.