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QUINCY, Mass. - Twenty years after opening its first Super Stop & Shop, the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, a division of Ahold, has announced the opening of its first new prototype supermarkets in Walpole, Mass., and Rhinebeck, N.Y. The company said it plans to open five more prototype stores by the end of the year in Glastonbury, Conn., Springfield, Mass., South Windsor, Conn., Aberdeen Township, N.J., and Whitman, Mass.
Each of the first two stores is equipped with a pharmacy, perishable departments, large grocery selection, and a wide array of general merchandise products and restaurant options.
The new prototype stores will open Thursday, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting will be held Wednesday evening.
"These stores will change the way people see Stop & Shop and food retail in general," said Stop & Shop president and CEO Marc Smith. "We're very excited to see how customers will respond to this next generation of Stop & Shop stores. These stores are exciting, fresh and welcoming."
The new stores offer customers a number of brand-new departments and services under one roof. Store features include:
-- An office supply department under the Office Depot brand name;
-- The "Toy's R' Us Toybox," a toy department for children of all ages (Walpole only);
-- "For Your Home" department carrying items such as towels, bath accessories, blankets, and bed sheets;
-- A greenhouse offering in-season plants and gardening needs;
-- Party goods center;
-- One-hour photo department with a portrait studio;
-- "Best Sellers!" department with the latest in books, music and video; and
-- A "consultation room" located in the pharmacy where customers can meet with the store pharmacist in private.
The new Stop & Shop stores also reveal a whole new decor package, according to the company. Expanded Health and Beauty Care departments feature the "Relax. Renew. Revive." motif and carry a greater variety of items than the average drugstore. Different approaches to signage and lighting are designed to give the stores a new look.
Both stores house full-service Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, and the Walpole store will house a Boston Market franchise.
"We've spent years listening to our customers and learning about their needs, and all our research and hard work has gone into our new prototypes," said Smith.
"These new stores were designed to give customers a shopping experience unlike anything they've seen before."