Original Tenant: Grand Union
Address: 1750 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd, Hamilton, NJ
Closed: late 1980s
Later Tenants: Laurenti ShopRite (late 1980s-late 1990s) > Big V ShopRite (late 1990s-2002)
Photographed: January 2021before and after here).
abandoned strip after all the tenants closed but before the property was blocked off. I was able to wander in to this mall, which is all still supposed to be available retail space, for some very cool exclusive interior photos. (To my knowledge, no one else has gotten interior photos of this store.) Note the two doors covered over to the left here, which may have been an original entrance/exit setup. At some point, the entrance was moved all the way over to the right of the main set of windows with the exit on the left side.
here. The store was built in the 1970s as a Grand Union, then sold to the Laurenti family in the late 1980s. They reopened the store as a ShopRite before selling their whole chain to Big V Supermarkets, also a ShopRite operator, in the late 1990s. Big V became large and powerful and wanted to leave the ShopRite/Wakefern cooperative, but Wakefern had put stipulations in membership contracts that made it very hard and expensive to leave the cooperative if you are large and powerful (if I remember correctly, there was a charge per store and also relative to the volume that the store does). That, of course, was a response to Supermarkets General leaving in 1968 and forming Pathmark. It was designed to let single-store or small-time operators to leave if they so desired, but make it hard for the cooperative to lose a large lot of stores all at once. Wakefern left a loophole: if the operator intended to go off on their own completely and not sell out to another chain, the charge would be nullified. So Big V attempted to convince Wakefern that they were planning to become totally independent while simultaneously meeting with Stop & Shop for an acquisition deal. Problem is that the Stop & Shop negotiations were barely kept secret and Wakefern refused Big V's independent claim. Big V had run out of money and declared bankruptcy, with many of their stores being purchased by assorted other operators or Wakefern corporate, and if I'm not mistaken just one store going to Stop & Shop. This store was not purchased and consequently closed in 2002.
was expanded to its present 82,000 square feet and seems to be, as with most Saker stores, crazy popular.
And here's a shot of the whole strip mall, as I said, all vacant and closed off. Unfortunately, we won't be visiting the Hamilton Square ShopRite (we'll be stopping by the other ShopRite in Hamilton Township, though) but we will be taking a tour of the supermarket just across the street from it tomorrow on The Market Report. Stay tuned!