Tour: A&P - Belvidere, New Jersey

 One April morning, while gallivanting in the remote Delaware Water Gap, I saw a road sign: BELVIDERE: 5, BLAIRSTOWN: 10. Both of these towns containing former or abandoned A&Ps. Driving through the small, suburban-esque (but beautiful) town of Belvidere, for around twenty-plus blocks, I finally had reached Route 46, and the A&P Plaza- to see its odd, Grand Union-like facade, and beautiful sunrise logo.
 This location opened in the late 1980's as an A&P under the Sav-A-Center format, as per the produce tile, which we will see below. The store was renovated in the 90's to the "Foodmarket" format we all love, and hate. The store, being in such a remote area, received a light Fresh 2.0 remodel in the early 2000's, as it stands today. The store then closed in 2015 as one of the 296 final stores in A&P's 156 years in business.
 The vestibules are rather odd and small here. It almost seems as if they shouldn't have been here at all, considering the stores size. There's no purpose for the vestibules themselves; they can barely fit a cart. However, check out the odd A&P Fresh logo! The serif font used for "fresh" was actually from A&P's Gulf Division, reaching from Gulfport, Mississippi, to New Orleans, Louisiana. These stores are yet to be featured on the blog, but will be in the near future, thanks to Rouses Markets irregular remodeling patterns.
 I almost dropped my smartphone while taking the vestibule photo. I was shocked to see an A&P sale sign sitting less than two inches away from where I was standing. Or was it the bee nest I had discovered directly above me? Nah, option A is the better. Of course, there's thick glass in between us.
 Anti-theft carts, produce cases, spotlights, oh my! Ah, the great crappy ahem, cheap, version of the Fresh 2.0 decor. Without the waves following the fruits, this looks very sad. However, this is common for this decor package. The abbreviated decor also brings no neon "Cafe" signage, or overly elegant lighting. Note the Sav-A-Center lighting above the produce decor panels, and quite obvious produce flooring. The rest of the store is tiled in standard white linoleum.
 In the other corridor, commonly known as the exit of these premises, is one of the largest DVD rental machines I've ever seen. DVD Express machines were in almost every A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum's, SuperFresh, you name it... it was there. Well, minus my own Clinton store, which was probably omitted due to its small size. So yes, this is technically my first time seeing one of these common machines.  
 The rest of the store has minimal lighting due to the Fresh format. Their strategy was to remove lighting, not add it. It was meant to add a dramatic view to the aisles-- which somewhat flopped. The later Fresh 2.0 remodels added back in the lighting.
 These checkout lanes are killion me. Oh boy, that was a bad pun. These checkout lanes are Killion brand, A&P's premier check-stand contractor in the 90's, and early 2000's.
 All of the gondola shelving has been removed. This was probably priced very reasonably at the fixture sale. Plus, even if its only half of its original price, you could still make a killing on it if you resell them. Gondolas don't get that much wear-and-tear over 20+ years.
 ...speaking of things that get wear-and-tear: ceiling tiles. Those tiles sure do have a lot of stains. This is one of the many reasons I hate drop ceilings with a passion, and I'm glad to see more retailers use open ceilings more often lately.
 ...and when I said the gondolas were cheap, I meant most likely really cheap. Look at the price on the checkout lane! $90! If it were brand new, they would have retailed for over a thousand dollars. I'm shocked nobody took them! On this note, let's get out of here...
 ...to the back of the building. 

 I approached this door in hopes of it being unlocked (which I later found out, from this photo, it was). However, I got distracted by the discarded fixtures below...
...including lighting, some paper bags, and random objects in trash bags. Maybe there was a few A&P artifacts in there? Maybe more in the building? The world may never know.

A&P of Belvidere

525 US-46
Belvidere, NJ 07823

A&P >

Comments

  1. It's pretty sad how without the A&P the shopping center has begun to disintegrate. Apparently the landlord won't pay for badly-needed repairs, which is apparently why Acme didn't take this one and no one else has taken it since (there've been plenty of rumors, from Weis to Stop & Shop). The Family Dollar next door is in bad shape, while the Advance Auto Parts was previously a former Rite Aid that lay vacant for years (with the old stripes on the walls!) after Rite Aid moved across Route 46. There's a former PNC Bank with drive-thru on the other end of the strip that's been vacant for years too, and the railroad ties that designated the drive-thru lanes are rotting like crazy now.

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