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West Hartford Stop & Shop Stores Get Facelifts, Will Celebrate with Grand Re-Opening

New signage has been installed at the Stop & Shop on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford as part of the company's rebranding. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Stop & Shop has unveiled a new format and look for its stores as well as a new logo, and will host a ribbon cutting Friday in West Hartford and celebratory events throughout the weekend.

Example of updated look at a Hartford area Stop & Shop. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Updates to the two Stop & Shop stores in West Hartford have been completed and the company will celebrate the fresh, new look for its brand at the Farmington Avenue and Newington Road stores on Friday and throughout the weekend.

According to a news release from Stop & Shop, the company is adopting a fresh new look, accompanied by “updates designed to make grocery shopping easier,” and will be rolling out the new look at 21 stores in the Hartford area, including the two in West Hartford. A total of $70 million has been invested in area stores, with updates including improved digital solutions, as well as the addition of more fresh and healthy foods.

Prices have also been lowered on thousands of popular items, and a greater selection of affordable store brands like Nature’s Promise will also be offered, the release states.

“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,” the release states.

A ribbon-cutting will take place simultaneously on Friday, Oct. 5, at all 21 Hartford area stores. The following activities are planned at both the 1253 Farmington Ave. and 176 Newington Rd. stores in West Hartford on Friday and over the weekend:

  • Friday, Oct. 5, 2-6 p.m. – Live music, USO Show Troupe performance, a harvest balloon photo wall, and an appearance from the Hartford Yard Goat Mascot where families can have their photo taken with the beloved animal.
  • Saturday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Live music, free food, local hero spotlight, and a surprise appearance from a costumed character 
  • Sunday, Oct. 7, 2-6 p.m. – Live music, a harvest balloon photo wall and plenty of food for the family to try out

Other activities that are planned for October include pumpkin painting, carnival games, and appearances by New England Patriots alumni.

Stop & Shop said that to commemorate the celebration, the company will be donating $25,000 to the local nonprofit Foodshare, with which it has had a longstanding partnership.

“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,” Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan said in the release. “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 history dates back to 1914, and the company entered the Hartford market in 1940. There area currently more than 3,000 employees in the region, and according to the company the headcount will increase by 7 percent in the remodeled stores.

The new logo is “a nod to the brand’s past and its legacy of breaking new ground in convenience,” while the new format is more customer-centric and intended to better respond to current shopping trends.

The news release highlights the following additions/changes to local stores:

  • 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 Connecticut 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.

To learn more about Stop & Shop’s new look and Hartford area store events, visit www.facebook.com/StopandShop.

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Example of updated look at a Hartford area Stop & Shop. Courtesy photo

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