ShopRite (United States)
The current logo (2002–present)
|Founded||Newark, New Jersey (1946 )|
|Headquarters||Keasbey, New Jersey, United States|
Number of locations
|Northeastern United States|
|Parent||Wakefern Food Corporation|
ShopRite Supermarkets (formerly Shop-Rite and Shop Rite) is a retailers' cooperative (co-op) chain of supermarkets in the northeastern United States, with stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Based in Keasbey, New Jersey, ShopRite consists of 48 individually owned-and-operated affiliates with over 296 stores, all under its corporate and distribution arm, Wakefern Food Corporation. Wakefern itself owns and operates 33 of the locations through subsidiary ShopRite Supermarkets, and is the largest affiliate in the cooperative. Several Wakefern members own and operate single ShopRite stores, while most own multiple locations. The average Wakefern member operates 6 stores.
ShopRite has been the largest retailer of food in New Jersey for close to 20 years. They are also number one in the New York City Metropolitan Area as well. Since 2011, ShopRite is the largest retailer of food in Greater Philadelphia, pushing long-dominant Acme Markets to second place. As of 2011, Wakefern was ranked 17th by sales among all supermarket operators in the United States.
ShopRite originated in 1946, when a Del Monte Foods sales representative talked to independent grocers in Newark, New Jersey. The grocers were having problems getting reasonable prices for wholesale goods. The Del Monte representative suggested the grocers try cooperative buying. Seven of the grocers agreed; paying $1,000 each to launch Wakefern Foods, which was incorporated on December 5, 1946. In 1951, the name ShopRite was created.
In 1958, ShopRite cut prices by 10% as an alternative to giving away trading stamps, which other supermarkets in New Jersey were doing. The move was successful, drawing customers and helping create more Shoprite stores. By 1961, Wakefern had 70 members, totaling $100 million in annual sales.
The breakaway of Supermarkets General
One large member, Supermarkets General, pulled out of Wakefern in the late 1960s, halving the number of stores. The Supermarkets General stores became Pathmark in 1968. The remaining Wakefern members redoubled their efforts, adopted "one member, one vote" as a management principle, and expanded aggressively. By the late 1970s, the volume lost from Supermarkets General's departure was restored.
For many years, ShopRite and Pathmark were extremely competitive on price in the New York Metro area, and each one had its loyal customer base. A highly leveraged management buy-out in the late 1980s left Pathmark saddled with too much debt, and the supermarket chain had no cash to fix up its stores, or invest in lower prices. At the same time, ShopRite stores were being replaced and rebuilt, stealing market share away from Pathmark.
The Pathmark chain was sold to A&P in 2007;. A&P ran Pathmark as a division, but was unsuccessful in turning around the banner's fortunes. A&P filed for bankruptcy and sold or liquidated its stores in 2015, including approximately 150 Pathmark stores. Wakefern and its cooperative members acquired nine Pathmark locations along with several other former A&P banners with the intention of opening ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer locations.
The "Can-Can Sale"
In 1971, ShopRite introduced their Can-Can Sale, where canned goods (and eventually other products) were placed on steep discounts, and is held in January. Until the early 1990's the sale was held in the second and third weeks of January but expanded to the entire month. Animated commercials for this promotion feature a chorus line of cancan dancers and a French artiste, though the style changed on several occasions over the years. In 2002, ShopRite expanded that sale to twice a year when they introduced the Summer Can-Can Sale, held in July. The company, once known for its boisterous, humorous in-store sales announcement, has mostly settled into a more modest shopping environment.
Price Plus Club and beyond
In 1989, ShopRite introduced the Price Plus Club Card, which eventually merged with the Check Cashing Card (for those that use it for that purpose as well); it is free of charge to acquire. Having a Price Plus Card enables shoppers to receive special weekly discounts, listed in circulars mailed with local newspapers. Most sales are chain-wide regardless of owner but sometimes in a particular region, valid for all area ShopRites, however some stores choose to put special items on sale based on stock. The Price Plus Card also tracks purchases, which aids in ShopRite's "No Hassle Return" policy.
In 1996, ShopRite launched its own line of deli meats, cheeses and complements with its premium private label, Black Bear of the Black Forest, to compete against the expansion of Boars Head in competitor's supermarkets. Black Bear's Healthier Lifestyle Program is recognized in the industry as being the only private brand to exceed government standards for a healthier lifestyle (low fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium). As well, all Black Bear meats and cheeses are gluten free, MSG free, and are part of the NSRI(National Salt Reduction Initiative). Black Bear has become the single most successful premium private label in the deli industry. In 2011, over 15 million pounds of Black Bear slicing meats and cheeses were sold at ShopRite.
Since 1999, ShopRite has offered an online grocery shopping service on its website, under the service name ShopRite from Home, through MyWebGrocer.com, at some stores. For an extra charge, a ShopRite employee fulfills a customer's shopping order at a local ShopRite; the customer then schedules either a home delivery or an at-store pick-up.
In 2007, Klein's Supermarkets, a local chain of family-owned supermarkets in Harford County, Maryland, joined the Wakefern cooperative, expanding the ShopRite banner into the Baltimore metropolitan area. The 7 original Klein's Supermarkets that are now ShopRite supermarkets are located throughout Northeastern and Central Maryland, and the company has opened 2 additional Maryland ShopRite stores. In addition, Wakefern member Collins Family Markets has opened a Maryland ShopRite store in Glen Burnie, and another member, Village Supermarkets, acquired 2 former SuperFresh stores in Lutherville-Timonium and Silver Spring and converted them to ShopRite Supermarkets.
ShopRite Stores Design
As a result of the cooperative system, there has been no set format for building architecture, store layout, or color scheme of the storefronts. Most stores are the product of the era in which they were opened, and the owner's style. For example, the ShopRite of West Caldwell, New Jersey has a Japanese motif inside and outside of the store (including rickshaws, an exit sign reading "Sayonara" and two Japanese-style phone booths). The Ronetco family of stores (Netcong, Byram, Newton, Franklin, Flanders, Mansfield, and Succasunna, New Jersey) have different looks on the outside (including the shopping carts and cart corrals), although the stores themselves have a similar layout. ShopRite stores that were previously other stores usually contain elements of the previous occupant. As large corporations buy up stores, recent years have brought a homogenization in building design and store layout.
One of ShopRite's trademarks "This is Your Neighborhood...This is Your ShopRite" is used not only in stores and on its famous yellow trailers, but also when promoting and supporting community events.
The ShopRite system today
Currently, ShopRite's base stretches northeast from the Washington metropolitan area in Maryland to the Hartford area in Connecticut. While New Jersey is home to the most ShopRite stores, the chain also has a strong presence in the New York City suburbs, and in Pennsylvania (mostly in the Philadelphia area). In 2010, ShopRite expanded its presence in Connecticut through the purchase of 11 former Shaw's stores.
In 2011-2013, ShopRite returned to the New York Capital District after exiting the market 23 years earlier. The SRS operating division opened stores in Niskayuna, Albany, Slingerlands, and Colonie. The Albany store opened on April 26, 2012; the Slingerlands store opened on September 30, 2012; and the Colonie store opened April 7, 2013. ShopRite currently has gas stations at the Albany and Colonie locations. Plans for additional future store locations had not been announced in late 2010. In 2013, ShopRite was the only unionized supermarket in the area.
On July 20, 2015, competitor A&P filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to close or sell off all of its stores. ShopRite acquired 13 supermarkets in A&P's bankruptcy auction, including some that had been ShopRite locations before Supermarkets General (later acquired by A&P) broke off from the cooperative.
- Why Pay More? Shop at a ShopRite store!
- Hey, Mom, what’s for dinner? ShopRite has the answer! (1970s - 1980s)
- ShopRite Does It Right (1980s-1994)
- ShopRite does the Can Can, Selling lots of brands (1971-present)
- We Save You (more) Money! ShopRite Does it Right! (until 1994)
- ShopRite and Always Save (1994–96; alternate until 1999)
- What's for Dinner? ShopRite Has the Answer! (1996–99; is still used, even with the current logo, on sale tags for Meats, Seafood, Delicatessen, etc.)
- Always Fresh...Always for Less! (1999–2008)
- One Place. Your Place. (2008–2012)
- It Makes a Difference Where You Shop (2012)
- We're All About Food. We're All About Savings. We're All About You. (2012–present)
Other chains and concepts
- PriceRite limited-assortment grocery stores
Wakefern (ShopRite's corporate arm) directly operates the PriceRite limited-assortment chain of stores in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey (two - one owned and operated by Inserra Supermarkets and the other by the Ravitz Family), New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Rhode Island. PriceRite is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wakefern. There are currently 62 PriceRite stores.
- PriceRite Warehouse Clubs (defunct)
The PriceRite name was used in the early 1990s on Wakefern's failed warehouse club concept stores.
- ShopRite Garden Center (defunct)
For many years, Foodarama operated a very small ShopRite Garden Center on Route 130 in East Windsor, New Jersey. In 2004, with the construction of a massive Home Depot directly adjacent to the small store, a decision was made to close the store and Foodarama moved its garden center operations into a 55,000-square-foot (5,100 m2) former Frank's Nursery & Crafts store. The store had operated as a Franks location for four years before the company was liquidated, and the large building combined 23,000 sq ft (2,100 m2) of interior selling space with 32,000 sq ft (3,000 m2) of covered outside selling area, for a total of 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2). The ShopRite Garden Center closed in 2008.
- ShopRite Wines & Spirits
Wakefern members also operate a cooperative chain of stores which offer wine, beer and spirits called ShopRite Wines & Spirits. Most stores are located adjacent to or inside of ShopRite Supermarkets; however, there are several freestanding stores. One store (in Pennington, New Jersey) offers a bar inside the ShopRite store.
Sunrise ShopRites of West Caldwell also operates three (Parsippany, New Jersey, Caldwell, New Jersey and Westfield, New Jersey) ShopRite Sunrise Wine-Cellar locations which offer an expanded selection of high-quality and specialty wines. These stores are generally smaller than their normal ShopRite counterparts, and specialize in wines and related alcoholic beverages.
In December 2013, Wakefern launched the ShopRiteDelivers.com website to expand their digital footprint outside of their traditional markets in the Northeast. The website, focused on electronics, bulk order baby care, specialty foods, and health and beauty, has been well received, and has shipped orders to customers in all 50 states.
- The Fresh Grocer
Wakefern acquired the trademarks of this supermarket chain which operates primarily in the Philadelphia area when its former owner, Pat Burns, joined the cooperative as its 50th member in August 2013. At the time, the chain had eight stores: five in Philadelphia, one in suburban Upper Darby, one in Wilmington, Delaware, and one in New Brunswick, N.J. The Upper Darby store became a ShopRite, and the New Brunswick and Southwest Philadelphia stores have since closed. The Fresh Grocer stores are smaller than modern ShopRite stores and place a greater emphasis on fresh and organic foods, upscale specialty items and extensive prepared-foods offerings than regular ShopRite stores, giving Wakefern and its members a format that can work in smaller urban locations. Wakefern executives were also quoted in the press as saying that as several The Fresh Grocer stores are located near college campuses, the chain would give Wakefern "new insight into the next generation of consumers" and enable it to reach new customers.
ShopRite is the title sponsor for the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
ShopRite operating companies (abridged)
- "ShopRite Dethrones Acme in Sales". Courier Post Online. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- Ruth, Eric (December 24, 2011), "More choice in markets comes to Bear this week", The News-Journal, delawareonline.com, retrieved December 25, 2011
- ShopRite's Can-Can Sale 40th Anniversary page Retrieved 2011-1-20
- Hartford Courant Shaw's Selling All 18 Supermarkets In State; Most To Stop & Shop, ShopRite
- Chris Churchill (2010-11-18). "Wegmans? Maybe. ShopRite? Yes. - Places and Spaces - timesunion.com- Albany NY". Blog.timesunion.com. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "ShopRite Named Top Retail Employer In The Capital Region On Albany Times Union's 2013 'Top Workplaces' List". April 29, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- Frank's Nursery sprouts new branches, accessed November 27, 2006
- "Fresh Grocer Joins Wakefern Co-op". Supermarket News. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 26 Nov 2015.
- "Potential Opportunity For Members To Own PriceRite Units Gives Wakefern Additional Edge". Food Trade News. September 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Fresh Grocer to join ShopRite supplier Wakefern". The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Wakefern Reports Record Sales; 16 New Units In Real Estate Plan". Food Trade News. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2016.