Stop & Shop, our largest U.S. brand in sales, yesterday unveiled a fresh new look starting with 21 stores in the Hartford area in Connecticut. The new look comes with a $70 million (€61 million) capital investment to improve the in-store experience with a focus on delivering more fresh, fast, local and healthy options so busy customers can get back to what matters most.
Hartford will serve as a test market for the brand to pilot features like an in-store smoker, poke bowl and taqueria stations, and frictionless checkout, which will be used to inform updates across the brand’s 400-plus stores over the next several years. Stop & Shop is also investing heavily to lower prices on thousands of items that customers purchase most, while offering a larger assortment of affordable items from own-brand lines such as Nature’s Promise.
“We recognize that our customer is changing, and we’re evolving our entire shopping experience to better serve them. They’re focused on getting back to their lives, juggling many responsibilities and we want to make grocery shopping even easier and faster for them,” said Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan. “Hartford is the first step in our journey towards repositioning our brand for future success and in helping our communities enjoy better food and better lives.”
Stop & Shop’s new look includes a modernized store format and a new logo, which is a nod to the brand’s past and its legacy of breaking new ground in convenience. The brand’s updated format reflects a customer-centric approach and a commitment to reshape its shopping experience around the customer and their evolving needs.
While updates will vary by store location, highlights of the refreshed stores include the following:
- Smoker– Customers can choose from meats like brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs slow cooked up to 14 hours over solid hickory wood.
- Focus on Local, Fresh, and Quality– Stores will feature more space dedicated to fresh produce and more locally grown and produced items like apples from Rogers Orchards in Southington, beer from CT favorite Two Roads, plus coffee beans roasted right in Hartford.
- New In-Store Experiences– Customers can create their own olive oil and vinegar blends like fig-infused balsamic at DIY machines. They can also fill up growlers at a kombucha fountain, or find out what food pairs best with a hoppy IPA at an informational craft beer kiosk.
- Community Tables– In-store cafes will feature “community tables” made from reclaimed wood so neighbors can gather together with family-style seating. Digital community boards will also share local fundraisers and other events around town.
- Poke Bowl & Taqueria Stations– New stations will make it easy to grab fresh, healthy meals with global flavors to-go.
- Curbside Pickup– Customers can pull up beneath solar-powered canopies to pick-up their online Peapod orders, which will soon be assembled by a miniature robotic warehouse thanks to a new partnership with Takeoff Technologies.
- Frictionless Checkout– Customers can save time when shopping in-store by using the SCAN IT! mobile app, which provides a frictionless checkout experience. No waiting in line required.
Ribbon-cutting events will take place simultaneously at all 21 stores today, with grand re-opening festivities to be held throughout the month.
To commemorate the occasion, Stop & Shop will donate $25,000 (€21.700) to its longtime partner Foodshare, the largest anti-hunger organization in the Greater Hartford area.
Download the Stop & Shop press release to the right.