A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A&P in Cliffwood to Close Before Labor Day

The A&P grocery store in Cliffwood is closing its doors on Friday 4 September 2015. It is part of a larger corporate bankruptcy, according to the 20 Jul 2015 edition of The Wall Street Journal. Other local A&P groceries being closed include the Route 9 store in Old Bridge and the store on Route 35 in Holmdel. Corporate is raising some quick cash as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings. Others not yet named will also close or change hands soon enough.

The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened this grocery store in Cliffwood on 6 October 1959. (See related article)

The Cliffwood store survived the arrival of Price Club, whose  box store in Hazlet soon killed the small, family-run Foodtown in downtown Matawan. But A&P couldn't stop the bleeding as shoppers flocked to the many well-stocked and competitively priced stores in the area, including Shop Rites on Lloyd Road in Aberdeen and Route 35 in Hazlet and Stop n Shops in Aberdeen and Keyport.

Opinions of A&P in Cliffwood weren't mixed; the store had grown increasingly unpopular in the area, leaving it to serve more as a large convenience store than as a grocer. It was my impression that A&P wasn't as "fresh obsessed" as its advertising implied. I can't tell you how many times I found expired products on the shelf or in my grocery bag. My neighbors complained that prices weren't competitive and selection was poor.

Residents will just have to wait and see what will become of the space. The economy is strong and vacancies that abounded along Route 35 two or three years ago have all been filled. The intersection of Route 35 and Cliffwood Avenue has just been upgraded. Perhaps a new tenant will be found quickly?


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