The completely brand new Zallie ShopRite of Center Square Plaza in Woolwich New Jersey opened its doors to their first customers at 10am this morning!
Mark from 42Freeway was there at the opening to check out the new store, meet the Zallie team… and of course I share it all with the readers!
Clearly the community is excited for the new store as lines of customers were already forming when I arrived at 9:30am.
The new ShopRite has a large parking lot also, but by the time I left around 11:00 or 11:30 AM there was not an open parking space available!
People were truly excited to get in inside to see what the new supermarket was all about.
And the Zallie team was just as excited to become a part of the community and welcome in all of those customers who were waiting.
Just inside the main entrance doors were two rows of Zallie Executives, Managers, and Employees who formed an aisle for customers to walk through on entering (like at a wedding!), and the Zallie team clapped non-stop for 15 minutes… for the customers.
It’s clear that the Zallie team realizes if you put the customer first everything else will take care of itself.
And that is true with the design of the all new ShopRite in Woolwich.
Similar to what we saw with the Glassboro store remodel, they are clearly going above and beyond any of their customer’s expectations regarding style, functionality, features, and product selection.
During my visit this morning in the new Woolwich store, I also had the opportunity to spend at least 15 minutes talking to David Zallie who is the President of the company which owns/operates 12 supermarket locations.
It was clear David and the Zallie team were very happy with my recent coverage of the Glassboro location. He introduced me to several of the team members and we poised for pictures. It was nice to see that he truly appreciated my efforts, and went above and beyond to make feel appreciated.
And I need to remember to suck-in-my-gut for photos. Ha!
ShopRite of Center Square Plaza – Woolwich NJ
As mentioned, South Jersey’s newest full size supermarket is now open in Woolwich New Jersey… Zallie ShopRite of Center Square Plaza.
And it’s a big deal. Supermarkets are a big investment which doesn’t happen often. Sure we have seen smaller discount or specialty groceries open up in South Jersey over the years… but full supermarkets opening up are just a rare thing.
And for the Woolwich ShopRite this is 100% an all new build, in a single freestanding building measuring almost 80,000 square feet.
A “Blank Canvas” to create an optimal shopping experience!
While the store is fully open, Zallie is calling this a ”soft opening” ahead of the official Grand Opening celebration which starts on June 4th
ShopRite Center Square: A Store Within A Store
The design of the Woolwich supermarket offers what I call, “a store within a store” experience.
What I mean by that is… well yes the largest portion of the supermarket features somewhat traditional rows of shelving for classic supermarket items such as canned goods, pasta, paper good, snacks and such.
But the real WOW factor is the open-market section of the store that you immediately walk into from the main entrance. It offers most of the fresh products and prepared foods, in one open floorplan space.
When you walk through that front door you’ll feel like you’ve walked into one of those market from some hip, cool, area in Seattle or California!
Gloucester County folks only get to see in television or magazines those stores where people actually enjoy coming to the market… even if its just to grab a fresh cup of coffee and some sushi, find a cozy table outside next to the firepits, and then open up their Macbooks to catch up on email!
Yes, I said “firepits”
The Woolwich ShopRite not only has a lovely indoor café seating area, it also has a beautiful outdoor seating area… with firepits!!
I mean, remember shopping as kids, our parents taking us to stores like Pathmark where it just felt like an awful “industrial” shopping experience where your main goal was to just get in and out as fast as you could?
So it’s clear to me that the goal of these new and upgraded Zallie’s stores is to completely remove that old institutionalized supermarket mindset we’ve all had… and put you in a place where shopping is an enjoyable experience.
Make the environment very inviting. Make things easy to find, access and see. And offer you things that you just wouldn’t expect in a Gloucester County supermarket.
To help with this effort the Zallie team called on api+ out of Tampa, to help them design an all new supermarket experience for South Jersey. It seems they’ve succeeded.
For the open market space there’s a foundation color scheme of earth tones, which lean towards the lighter side of the palette.
The flooring itself is very cool with a simulated woodgrain that contrasts between a darker brown and a much lighter weathered wood.
Much of the cabinetry also carries that earth tone theme by utilizing a black lacquer trim… which is most notable in the produce refrigerators in this section.
So what this does is create a neutral canvas for all of the bright colors of the fresh produce and fruit, international cheeses, and the individual prepared food category areas… to just POP with color and lighting.
Along the right-most and rear walls of the market space are the individual prepared food areas such as hot foods, deli, or bakery.
Taking advantage of that same underlying earth tone palette as a base, each of those prepared food areas have a distinctly colored overhead wall section with appropriate signage, which clearly identifies where one area ends and another starts.
As an example, as soon as you walk into the market looking for fresh seafood… within seconds you’ll know exactly where it is.
So when you walk into the store you’re going to give a visual scan across the space and think to yourself “Wow, this is beautiful”
But then you start realizing the thought that went into the layout.
For example, realizing that many shopping trips are for picking up hot foods, or something from the deli… they put those aspects right at the front of the store close to the main entrance, and next to the indoor/outdoor café.
Honestly if you just want to grab a sandwich or some fresh coffee.. who wants to navigate through a maze of aisles? Zallie gets that, and put those sections right up front.
You can walk right into the new supermarket, make a slight right turn and have your choice of all of the hot foods and café items. Walk a few more feet and pickup an Italian hoagie instead… and grab a cafe table or head back home/office as quickly as possible.
Extending this theme even further, in this front café area they’ve also included the catering pickup area, so the folks who are rushing in just to pick up that tray of ziti they ordered for the graduation party, don’t have to walk through the entire store to get it.
(Now I’m going to jump a little bit out of my flow here to mention that there is a completely other section to the supermarket on the far left side allocated to order pickup and delivery!)
And in this initial market section going down the right side of the store, after the deli is the bakery/artisan sections. Delicious fresh baked items from breads to croissants are all made right in store..
Next to that along the back wall is the fresh seafood section, and then heading down along the back is the meat area.
So left area of this open market section is produce, which features brightly lit display bins of all fresh produce in the center and then framing the left wall of the open market are the refrigerated produce cabinets.
And then there is the International cheese area.
It’s one of those things that really no one would expect to see… but then when you do see it, it just all makes complete sense.
And while the signage clearly labels it as International cheeses, it’s really a combination of cheeses AND cut fruits.
The cheese stand is a large square booth made up of surrounding display cases featuring an amazing variety of cheeses and brightly colored fresh cut fruits. And the colors “pop”!
Am I overselling it? Well let’s be honest… the food shopping industry is not immune to new competitive challenges in the 2020s. There are internet grocery companies, there are barebone grocery stores, and even traditional retailers have added grocery options to their stores.
So it seems the team at Zallie understands this and have really gone out of their way to provide an array of products and experiences in a beautiful setting which makes the feeling of getting in your car and driving to the store… actually pleasurable!
Zallie Shoprite; Blackwood and West Deptford
As a refresher, a little over a year ago Zallie announced plans to build a new supermarket on Blackwood-Clementon Road, to be called “Cherrywood”.
This brand new store would be developed in the former Kmart building and would replace the existing Laurel Hill supermarket, which is up the road a short distance.
While it’s only been about 15 months since that announcement was officially made it seems many are questioning the status of the store because nothing has happened at the site. I see the same comments with Wawas that don’t immediately start!
But simply, Zallie had three very large projects in process at the same time:
- West Berlin – New Liquor Store space and other upgrades
- Glassboro – Full remodel. Basically developed a new store while it was still open
- Woolwich – All new construction, from dirt field, to 78,000 sq ft Supermarket.
So it was decided the Blackwood store would be developed after those three above projects were completed.
Plus it seems the Zallie folks are really happy with many of their core designers and contractors.. who also can only do so much at one time.
It just makes sense.
So where we stand with Blackwood is…
They likely need 6 more months or more before they get to the Gloucester Township Planning Board. Construction would start after that of course.
We are likely looking an an opening in Blackwood of 2025.
And then David mentioned a new piece of information:
Zallie plans on remodeling the West Deptford ShopRite… Likely to a level equal that of what they did in Glassboro.
So I don’t really have any other details on West Deptford though. Still early stages.
The only extra piece of information David gave me regarding this is… Well for the Glassboro rebuild and the Woolwich build, those two projects both happened simultaneously and they both completed at the same time.
That seemed to work for them and all of the contractors involved, so they are expecting to follow that same plan for Blackwood and West Deptford… having them both under construction at the same time and targeting a completion at the same time… likely in 2025.
Links and Locations
Zallie ShopRite of Center Square
65 Center Square Road
Swedesboro, NJ 08085