Mark from 42Freeway heads back to Bellmawr's massive Direct Connect project, to review what has changed in the last few months. And yes, there are new things to talk about. This update is really a 7 min YouTube video (bottom of article) but we'll highlight here in writing and photos the things in the video.
No one saw this coming! Krispy Kreme was approved tonight at the Deptford Planning Board meeting, for a free-standing location within the Deptford Mall parking lot. Significant for a few reasons… because there is only one other Krispy Kreme store in the area (Collingwood New Jersey and then nothing has happened for years), this Deptford store will be a full doughnut bakery supporting other area retailers… and seriously, who saw this coming for Deptford and the mall?!
Specifically the new Deptford Krispy Kreme will be along the western edge of the Mall parking lot on the Almonesson Rd side, directly across from the Longhorn Steakhouse. There is a signalized entrance into the mall right there, so as you pull into the mall parking lot, Krispy Kreme will be located right there in that corner.
If you aren’t familiar with Krispy Kreme, they are most famous for their glazed doughnut and the neon sign on the window “Hot Now”! In comparison to Dunkin Donuts, they Krispy Kreme folks say they are primarily a doughnut shop that also sells some coffee, whereas Dunkin is a coffee shop that also sells some donuts!
Representatives of Krispy Kreme attended the call and stated this is a brand new prototype Krispy Kreme store… Deptford will be one of the first locations to have it! It will have a drive-thru of course, but it will have an all new modern look!
As the Krispy Kreme portion of the meeting winded down, someone from the Planning Board asked “Oh one last thing, what is your timing” and unfortunately the representatives were already offline.
Full Bakery and Commercial Delivery Operation
This shouldn’t be surprising, but apparently it is…. we would expect all locations to actually make the doughnuts, but that is not the case as some locations have their doughnuts made offsite. Well the new Deptford store will be a full doughnut bakery serving local retail customers (“producing” location), and will also support area clients with a small commercial delivery operation (approx 3 vans supporting 50 area locations).
Consider the Krispy Kreme doughnuts you see in other stores such as Royal Farms or Walmart… they have to come from somewhere, right?! So in a common-sense move, the folks at Krispy Kreme have designed the Deptford location to support other retail locations. Most of that activity will happen in the early morning. Doughnuts are a morning business, and they other retail stores will want them early in the morning also… so will be well before the mall is open and most commuter traffic.
Deptford Mall : Exciting Upgrades in Tough Retail Market
Many commenters at the 42Freeway Facebook page will tell us “retail is dead”. “Malls are dead”. Well for one, even without Round One being opened yet, I visited the mall when Dick’s Sporting Goods had their Grand Opening and there was a significant number of shoppers in the mall… and consider this is during Covid.
There is also a lot of new tenants in and around the Deptford Mall. Starting with… well I just mentioned Dick’s Sporting Goods has opened in the Mall, in the lower level of the old Sears. Scheduled to open this fall is the Round One Bowling Arcade Restaurant (which should be a huge draw).
Xfinity retail just opened last week in the outside corner of the Sears lower level. Still to come… in the same area as Krispy Kreme (deeper in the corner) a Republic Bank was previously approved (it’s still coming!).
The Republic Bank is still coming and it will have a new right-turn in entrance off of Almonesson. This same new entrance could be used to access this area of the mall parking lot (once built by Republic Bank). The main access to Krispy Kreme will be within the mall outer-ring road, accessed from the ins
And the old Sears Auto Store is planned to be a Crush Fitness Center. We’ve recently spoken to the owner and he tells us… they are still coming! (more on that later).
Inside the mall Australian retailer Cotton:On is under construction near the center of the mall in the lower level, and directly above them another Australian retailer is coming, fashion jeweler Lovisa!
Lastly.. while the old Dick’s Sporting Goods building is now empty, we were the only ones who have reported that the Ocean State Job Lots will be coming to the closed Toys R Us building across from the mall!