Stop & Shop investing $140M to update NYC stores

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Dive Brief:

  • Stop & Shop announced on Friday that it will invest $140 million to update its stores in New York City.
  • The first remodeled store, located in the Bronx’s Bay Plaza, held a grand reopening on Friday featuring an expanded assortment and new promotions. The chain will upgrade additional stores over the next two years.
  • The updates are part of Stop & Shop’s banner-wide store updates that kicked off in 2018 and come as the chain has lost market share in the Northeast.

Dive Insight:

Stop & Shop’s store remodels in New York City center on a “significantly expanded” product assortment that the company says is highly relevant to each neighborhood its serves.

The Bay Plaza store that opened Friday features a Global Market section with products from 14 different regions, including West Indian and Caribbean items, along with Halal meat, dairy and grocery products. Stop & Shop’s store in Maspeth, Queens, will carry an expanded assortment of Chinese and South American products, while its store in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, will carry more Eastern European and Kosher products than it previously did.

The remodels are also focused on enhancing the stores’ value image to customers as record-high inflation drags on. Locations will have more sale bins and the chain’s New York City circulars will feature more items on sale.

Stop & Shop will also allow shoppers to use the Flashfood app to purchase fresh products nearing their sell-by date for up to 50% off. The app, which is part of parent company Ahold Delhaize’s drive to cut food waste in half by 2030, debuted Friday at the Bay Plaza store and will soon expand to other locations.

Sale bins at Stop & Shop’s newly remodeled store in the Bronx.

Courtesy of Marc Levine

Stop & Shop operates 25 stores across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, and offers home delivery in all five boroughs. In addition to its store remodels, the chain also made a $1 million pledge to combat food insecurity across New York City.

Stop & Shop began remodeling its aging store fleet in 2018 and has so far remodeled around 35% of its roughly 400 stores — which is less than it would like to have completed so far, executives said during Ahold Delhaize’s most recent earnings call. They blamed slowdowns in construction due to the pandemic for the lack of progress.

“We really just haven’t had the opportunity to complete the really aggressive remodeling program that we have envisioned,” Ahold Delhaize Chief Financial Officer Natalie Knight said during the earnings call last month.

Ahold Delhaize is hoping the store remodeling campaign can give Stop & Shop a sales lift similar to what the Dutch company’s Food Lion banner has experienced in recent years following its own chainwide refresh. Between Q4 2019 and Q4 2021, Food Lion’s market share rose 1.8 percentage points, while Stop & Shop’s declined 1.1 percentage points, according to a company presentation shared during last month’s earnings call.