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Stop & Shop Goes Pint-Sized in Newton, Mass.

Retailer's forthcoming outpost a compact expression of its new brand
Photograph by Kerry McCormack/Crosspoint Associates

The name won't be new, but the branding will be. A site once slated to have been an outpost of Ahold Delhaize’s discontinuing Bfresh brand will open shortly under the Stop & Shop banner.

The store in Newton, Mass., set to open Dec. 14, will comprise 21,000 square feet, making it one of the smallest units in Stop & Shop’s 400-store fleet. And while it will not adopt the millennial-friendly Bfresh branding, the store will open with a novel look and feel as the first of Stop & Shop’s Massachusetts stores to open under its new brand positioning, which the company intends to roll out across its fleet in the coming years, officials told WGB.

Ahold Delhaize said a year ago it would fold the Bfresh brand into its Stop & Shop division as it dissolved the Fresh Formats division, which developed the concept as part of a corporate reorganization that came along with the Delhaize merger. At that time it said it would announce a new banner for the Bfresh storeswhich comprise two locations in Bostonat a later date.

Ahold Delhaize’s Giant/Martin’s unit similarly took over several developing Fresh Format sites in Philadelphia, where it is rolling out a new brand, called Giant Heirloom Market, in their place.

Although some published material from the developer of the Newton Nexus development where the new store is located identified the tenant as “Stop & Shop Neighborhood Market,” Ahold spokespeople said the company is sticking with Stop & Shop. It is specifically not describing the store as a “small concept” but rather a “smaller” one that incorporates elements of the convenience and experience-focused repositioning unveiled early this year in Hartford, Conn. market, including an in-store barbecue smoker, a kombucha fountain, a hot food bar, curbside grocery pickup for online ordering and its new logo and branding design.

“Our new Newton Highlands location will be a smaller store that's designed to be easy and convenient for our customers, who we know are busy juggling many things like work and family,” a spokeswoman told WGB in an email. “Even though it’s smaller, the store will focus on fresh and feature a full assortment of produce and a full-service deli,” she added.

Stop & Shop said 100 associates would be hired for the new store, the opening of which presumably signals the fate of existing Bfresh stores in Allston and Somerville, but details of any rebranding plans for those stores have not been released.

Newton Nexus is a 143,000-square-foot mixed-use project built at the site of vacant offices in the wealthy Boston suburb of Newton, according to developer Crosspoint Associates of Waltham, Mass. Other tenants include restaurant and retailers T.J. Maxx, Sierra Trading Post and Boston Ski & Tennis.

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