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With New ShopRite, What Is Impact to Toms River Supermarkets?

Sites such as Foodtown and ShopRite are across the street from each other. Grocery consultant weighs in.

With the opening of the at the Crossroads Center on Route 37 and 166, another player on the supermarket scene fills the long-vacant spot once held by a Perlmart ShopRite.

Across the street, a Food Circus Super Foodtown sits in one of the older supermarket locations in Toms River. And the Middletown-based company its Bayville location will close.

How will the new ShopRite affect what looks to be a burdened industry?

Toms River Super Foodtown Doing Well, VP Says 

Louis Scaduto, Jr., the vice president of Food Circus, said the Toms River location remains an important part of their Foodtown family.

He said there are no plans to close the store and that the location continues to have success.

"It's still a very viable location. A Super Foodtown is definitely warranted there," Scaduto said.

Opened in the early 1980s, the Super Foodtown has had minor touch-ups throughout its history instead of full-scale renovation, Scaduto said, but the location draws "tremendous positive feedback" from customers contacting the Food Circus headquarters.

Scaduto said that the location is less than stellar when factoring in the traffic of Route 37 and 166. He said elsewhere in town traffic jams are also a problem.

"I don't think anything shines from traffic in Toms River," Scaduto said. 

Richard Saker, president of Saker ShopRites Inc., said the new location brings the Saker family into Toms River's market for the first time, and he said being a part of the community means being a good neighbor.

"The Saker Family is thrilled to be a member of the Toms River community and looks forward to the opportunity to serve each and every customer as a good neighbor. We live and work in the communities we serve," he said.

Consultant Says Foodtown Will Suffer

Matt Casey of Matthew P. Casey & Associates studies the local market, offering advice to retailers in the pharmacy and supermarket industries. He painted a dim picture of the chance of survival for nearby Foodtown.

"They (ShopRite) probably operate the nicest supermarkets in Central Jersey," said Casey. "It will be a big store and have a lot of amenities. The store will have a lot of variety, selection and great ShopRite prices."

Casey, who has an office located in Clark, also spoke about the new store compared to other supermarkets in the surrounding area, calling it a strong presence in a "weak" corridor.

"The customer is really going to love it, especially considering the alternatives that are down there today. Other than the Stop and Shop to the east…the competition is relatively weak. This store is going to offer so much more than any other store in that immediate area," Casey said.

More Competition

The impact is not just of new versus old, Casey said. Instead a new supermarket player will drive competition. 

"This new ShopRite offers shoppers a very high quality supermarket alternative. Competition makes everyone better. The other ShopRites in the greater Toms River area will recognize the presence of this new competing ShopRite, and sharpen their already outstanding operations even more," Casey said.

The , a Perlmart property, recently its store, adding additional hot foods and bakery items and adding an employee parking lot, for example.

Scaduto said Food Circus continues to look at ways to keep the Toms River supermarket a strong property.

"Well I have multiple plans for Toms River to drive as many sales as I can there," he said of the Route 37 Foodtown.

Casey however said the Route 37 ShopRite will negatively impact the Food Circus Foodtown across the street.

"The Foodtown facility across Route 37, unfortunately, is an old, very tired facility that has been neglected for many years now, and will suffer a tremendous impact from this new ShopRite," Casey said. 

Saker also spoke about the new store being at the old location. "Crossroads Center, at Route 37 and 166, is a great location and an area where we felt the community was underserved."

Route 37 also has a Stop & Shop to the east and a Walmart to the west. North on Route 166 is the Toms River Pathmark.

"The local Stop & Shop, Walmart, and other competitors will also be impacted, but to a much lesser degree," Casey said.

A key factor about the success of the new ShopRite will be prices. Comparison shopping rules the day in a down economy, Casey said, meaning consumers will shop the lowest prices in the grocer aisle.

"The relatively higher priced Foodtown across the highway is in dire need of an upgrade....but unfortunately, the horse is out of the gate already.  Also, it is my belief that other than Walmart, Target, and Aldi, it's ShopRite that is the lowest priced conventional supermarket alternative in the area."  he said.

Shopper Loyalty?

Shopper loyalty is another factor in the survival of a supermarket. With the opening of a new property, how has that fared?

"Quite often, store loyalty does play into the shopper's choice," said Casey. "Since the Perlmart group and their local ShopRites have served Toms River customers extremely well over the years - and have developed extremely strong loyalty to the 'ShopRite' name, I strongly believe this new ShopRite on Route 37 will be very well received."

Scaduto declined to give out the foot traffic or number and amount of sales the Super Foodtown has. He said the feedback shows customers are loyal to that location. He did not say if there has been an impact on sales since the ShopRite opened across the street.

"It's business as usual," Scaduto said. "We're very, very happy with the location. Obviously, there's a new competitor across the street. But you've got to pick and choose the battles. We are very happy."

Steve Domanski January 13, 2012 at 09:22 PM
The New Shop Rite must be doing something rite.I see alot of employes from the other stores (Foodtown,Pathmark,Stop&Shop) shopping at the shop rite.
Shore Skeptic January 13, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I checked out the new Shop Rite this week. It's nice to finally have a quality supermarket in town. Foodtown's deli isn't even in the same class. The last time I was in Foodtown, the guy at the seafood counter grabbed the fish with his BARE HANDS. I walked away and have been shopping at Stop N Shop since. After constant PeaPod delivery screw ups, I'm giving Shop Rite a chance. Read the other Patch story on the Foodtown closing in Bayville. Dirty
Susan January 13, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I have been there a few times, and the people working there are nice, and helpful. Of course, they are all new and trying to make a good impression. Basically, I did not find anything there that I can't get elsewhere and it is a pain to get to and out of. I do like the meat and produce better at the Foodtown across the street. I hear they are closing the Foodtown in Bayville and it looks like they may be remodeling the Foodtown on rt.37. I can go to other ShopRites with less hassle. I don't think anything that has gone into the new Crossroads Centre will draw me in there. We are flooded in this area with everything they put there, and I don't have a need to deal with that traffic. Too bad Toms River can't come up with some stores that we don't already have.
proudnot2bliberal January 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Really people are you on crack Foodtown will be out of business in 6 months! Quality is better and prices a lot lower. Have not been to Foodtown in at least 3 months they have no bargains. This summer I stopped by purchased a couple cases of soda at Foodtown I stopped by 7-11 just up 37 for a cold drink & THEY HAD CHEAPER CASES OF SODA! Really 7-11 beats you on prices & by a couple bucks too! This is the last foodtown in the area fisher blvd closed 2-3 yrs ago point pleasant sold out to stop & shop, Bayville closing soon & this one will be gone by summer. But you have people that enjoy over paying
Jee January 13, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Honestly, I haven't found anything good about this new plaza or the new Shoprite. I think the parking lot and the traffic is horrible, all the stores they put in there we already have in T.R., the prices were only good the first week and now are higher than the Shoprite on Fischer Blvd, and the workers in Fischer are nicer. I think they did an amazing job remodeling the Fischer store and is much better than this new one. You won't catch me in this one!
Angela Pisano January 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Still traveling to Wegmen's on 35. We need new stores in town.
Rich49 January 14, 2012 at 01:55 AM
I'm with Angela. Wegmans would do very well down here. I went in the new Shoprite once. That was it. I'll keep going north and to Pathmark and Foodtown. By the way, when is the state going to widen Rt166? I've stopped driving that way because of the traffic.
. January 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
With all of the crime that happened in Toms River yesterday, why is this the lead story? There was a robbery and break in and ATM theft at Boston's on Fischer, Dunkin Donuts on 166, Woman to Woman OB/GYN on Main St where prescription pads and cash were stolen, and some stole a billboard at a sign company. Aren't these stories more important than another story about this new Shop Rite?
Tracy January 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The new Shop Rite I feel is so over rated. I purchased several different meats and they were tough so I will never get meat there again. Bakery looks delish but looks better then what it taste likes. Only real good thing .... no lines lots of registers open. I'll sick with the one on RT 70 and deal with the old people .. or go to good old Foodtown .... there monthly dinner specials are delish and a great price .... they do breakfast specials as well ......
Susan January 14, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I agree on the Boars Head cold cuts.. they sell them at Foodtown also and think the quality is superior. I do travel to Rt.35 also for Wegmans. Wegmans missed a good opportunity by not opening here. Our area is sorely misjudged.
SB Girl January 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I agree...Shop Rite has good prices on groceries, but it's the meat and produce that drives me to Stop & Shop...but I'd love to see a Wegmans or a Whole Foods or a Kings in the area...
SB Girl January 14, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Yes, I agree...I have been emailing Wegmans, Kings and Whole Foods to suggest they look closer to the area...I think the marketing folks are really not doing good market analysis...I am in an adult community in Barnegat and have a summer home on the island...everyone I speak to is from north Jersey and are used to having better super markets...both in Toms River and Barnegat...these towns are no longer just sleepy little towns and the people in the adult communities are willing to spend good money on good food...
LA RUE January 14, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Stores that we don't have?.......Now that would be nice. Like said previously....Wegman's, Whole foods etc.Come on T.R. Not another pizza, chinese, and hair salon. Enough already!
LA RUE January 14, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Don't hold your breath on that one Rich49.I guess it's going to take a couple of traffic deaths before that's addressed.Wouldn't you think the road should have been widened "before" the store went up? Poor thinking on that one.
Rachel Tomasi January 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I am on a tight budget yet my time (if only bc I'm in pain and have a ltd amt of walking I can do even leaning on a cart) has value. Therefore when the Fishcer Blvd. Foodtown was still operating I went there vs ShopRite down the rd. prices were a bit higher on many things but shopping sales and specials they their card evened things out fairly well as well as perks like free turkey or ham promos if u spent enough which was easy with 4 growing hungry mouths to feed. It stank this yr having to BUY our turkeys. Tho it's nice to see new n modern when shopping I believe the products quality speak for themselves. No one enjoying a good meal is thinking about where it was bought nor the 20 cents more they paid. Only time will tell what closes or thrives etc but for me the answer has been PEAPOD! Talk about a life saver or at least back saver. And if anything is ever unsatisfactory they credit your card or ifvu paid by check they either do sane back or credit your acct for next time. They offer great sales and the freshest products. Give it a try!
Rick Molinia January 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Stop & Shop has the best prices on grocery items compared to both Shoprite & Foodtown.. and thats coming from sum1 who has been to all 3 this past week.. that silly guy who is paid " to study" the local market is full of poo poo obviously even comparing shoprite to Freakin Walmart... ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO??!!.... if you live in toms river, there is a STOP & SHOP on 37, Hooper on silverton/brick border, and TR corner of 9&70.. BUT if you want the BEST QUALITY of Meats & Bakery.. The answer is COSTCO.. COSTCO.. now pay me for that study.. just look at my belly.. HMMMM...
Rick Molinia January 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM
untill we get a wegmans, whole foods, or trader joes that is...( Long time )
Nicole Ferraro Dawdy January 14, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I am a Stop & Shop fan. I tried Shop Rite just to check it out...beautiful, but WAY too trafficky...not worth the hassle.
Randal Graves January 14, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I as well tried Shop Rite on 37 which is just a tad closer to me then Pathmark but with that traffic down there it's better to go to Pathmark for me or even SR on Fischer, As for Food Town you could not pay me to shop there, I went once and some of the stuff I was going to buy was a few days past expiration so that was a turn off for me.
Ken January 14, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I am not sure if Foodtown will close, I hope not. I am not that impressed with the new Shop Rite. The aisle are very narrow, making it hard to get around. The meat department is a joke. When I first went there I thought that maybe there was another section, but that was it, so not much in choice and prices were high. I see no real bargains there in the store, except for some sales items. The bakery most things are very expensive compared to other stores. I did try a few things and when I actually ate them I was sorely disappointed. Also tried their prepared food in the back. The price listed per pound was one price, but than when you bought it the price was higher. It happened to me twice where I have been overcharged for things in that section. Called the store the first time and nothing happened and the second time I contacted Shop Rites main email with no reponse. If this is the way you treat people, trust me their are a lot of other stores in the area for me to get my groceries at.
Don W. January 14, 2012 at 07:08 PM
The front entrance to Shop Rite will likely be better after the demolition and clearing of the old rubble is removed. I feel bad for those on the east side, though. I think a "New Time Tavern" should be opened. Won't be the same, though. Nothing ever is.
Don W. January 14, 2012 at 07:13 PM
As for Foodtown, your time has passed for a remodel. Your best bet is to displace the folks in the front stores and open there. It's more visual. ACME used to be up there. The stores are not deep, but maybe spread out. Then again, it's all just a waste of time. Customer service is dead anyway. I used to do deli work for both companies. I cringe at the lack of kindness and pleasantness.
DaveL January 14, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Seeing another party store open next to Staples was a huge disappointment. Do we really need a party store in the Kohl's shopping center, Seacourt, and the old Boaters World next to McDonalds- 1000 feet from the new Party Fair? Maybe Party Fair is moving from Kohl's back to Crossroads; but 3 party stores seems stupid.
Project Bluebeam January 14, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Shop Rite's deli meats & cheeses are the best. The Can-Can sale has no equal. The new store is beautiful and well-stocked. You nee to go in the am, not at noon on Saturday. Foodtown is filthy and disgusting. It's like you need a shower after shopping there. Stop N Shop is OK, but God help you if you like to bag your own groceries. The cashiers will throw your groceries like they were bowling. I constantly have to tell them to chill out because my boxes get crushed. ALL these stores need to get with the program and offer free Wifi as a courtesy to their customers.
Carol Aller January 15, 2012 at 02:56 AM
All prices posted in all Shoprite sale circulars are the same at every Shoprite chain. However, other prices are not. The new Shoprite's prices are higher than the one on Fischer, which is the one I've shopped at for over 30 years and will continue to do so. I do like the cheese department at the new Shoprite, but the one on Fischer has stepped up it's game and can compete on every level. And yes, the traffic on 166 is a nightmare, but it always has been. This has just made it worse. They need to dualize 166 up to Old Freehold road, but that has been overdue and rejected by the state many times over. Probably won't see it in my lifetime!!
Brian Fitzpatrick January 31, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I live within walking distance of the new Saker ShopRite, and since they have put the new traffic pattern in at 166 and Old Freehold, it has gotten a little better. The ShopRite is very nice, and is well stocked. My only complaint is that the aisles are very narrow, especially when compared with the Stop&Shop or the Foodtown, but then all new ShopRites seem to be working off that same principle. My wife still shops at the Stop&Shop, which I think has a better overall layout. The shopping experience in both places is about equal. Customer service at the Foodtown is the best, but the store is very dated, and has a confusing layout. And since it is actually easier for me to get to the Stop&Shop (even though I live off OFR, below Mapletree) than it is for me to get to Foodtown, because of the murderous traffic crossing 37, Foodtown will be third on my list. IMHO, I think about the only people who would be going to the Foodtown would be those who live west of there on 37, the folks south of there off Highland Parkway, or who are shopping at the Kohl's or Modell's and need to go to the food store. Without a remodel/renovation (and improvement of the intersection of 37 and 166), Foodtown is doomed.
Brian Fitzpatrick January 31, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I, too, would like to see 166 widened, but I don't think it will be a realistic possibility in the next ten years. There isn't enough need for it north of Old Freehold Road - there's just mostly houses and a couple of underused strip malls - until you get to the intersection of 571 and Route 9, which is also lousy, but that's being addressed by the new road being built between the Parkway onramp and the intersection of 571 and Intermediate North Way. Most of the traffic at 166/37 from the north comes from Old Freehold anyway. The state would be better off spending money either redoing the entire 166/37 interchange (especially for traffic turning right onto 37 from southbound 166, where you have to compete with folks coming off 37 westbound) or widening Route 9 from 571 to at least Cox Cro Road, which is bumper-to-bumper all day, every day.
Ken January 31, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I have a few complaints about the new Shop Rite. First of all they made the aisles way to narrow. I know they did this sothey could put more products, but if there is someone coming the other way you can barley manuever around them. Nest is their meat department, like some else stated I thought maybe there was another section since the one I saw was so small, but that was it and they are more expensive than other local stores, even the so called sales items. The deli has a nice selection, but again I know other stores in the area who are much cheaper. Finally is the bakery department. The items are WAY OVER PRICED and not even that good. I don't know of any other store in the area including bakeries who even come close to charging thos kind of prices for baked goods. I guess time will tel how they do, but they really already need to make some changes if they want me to come back.
proudnot2bliberal January 23, 2013 at 01:37 AM
WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING? Stop & Shop is 30 % higher across the board Thier sale prices aer higher than Shop Rite reg prices. FoodTown stinks bought soda there last summer then stopped at 7-11 for a slurpie & thier price on soda was cheaper! embarrasing
proudnot2bliberal January 23, 2013 at 01:42 AM
its the same store they moved across the street to a new bigger store

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