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675 Kidder St, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: Big V ShopRite
Address: 675 Kidder St, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Opened: 1990s
Closed: 2001
Later Tenants: vacant, half now Ollie's Bargain Outlet
Photographed: December 22, 2018
I mentioned on one of our recent Gerrity's posts that Wakefern used to have a presence in the Wyoming Valley, actually as early as 1981 (not sure if they were here before that). I believe most of that presence was driven by member Big V, which also had a large presence in the Hudson Valley of New York. For a quick recap, they attempted to leave Wakefern around 2000, trying to simultaneously convince Wakefern they were going off on their own to avoid paying the penalty to leave while also having very public negotiations with Stop & Shop to sell the chain to them. Wakefern rejected their argument, required they pay the penalty to leave the coop, and that bankrupted Big V. Wakefern bought back most of Big V's assets (one store went to Stop & Shop), but some stores just closed. And Big V went under in 2001.
Big V opened this store in the 1990s and at a whopping 80,000 square feet, this store may have simply been too big (and too far-flung) for Wakefern to want it back in 2001.
Of course, plenty of ShopRites are over 80,000 square feet, but it must have been an expensive store to run in a market they had nearly zero presence in otherwise, and that combined with the fact that the store is not particularly visible from the street must have been a couple too many strikes against this store for Wakefern.
Half of the ShopRite is now an Ollie's Bargain Outlet, but the other half has remained vacant for all these years and ShopRite's pharmacy sign is even still up!
You can see the outline of the circular ShopRite logo.
Some other ShopRite signage is still visible around the store, too...
Unfortunately, though, we can't so much see inside because the store is set up with a large foyer beyond which we really can't see.
If we brighten up the picture a little, we can see inside just a little better. I believe the front-end would've run along the right side of the store but I'm not sure. I believe there was a garden center outside the supermarket on the right side.
That doorway below is what I believe would bring us into the main supermarket, which I believe would've started with a grand aisle along the front wall here.
Here's a look at the side entrance. The store is set up to kind of face away from the rest of the strip mall it's in, which is a little strange. So the entrances are on the corner.
Below is where I believe the store had a garden center. As you can see, the store has deteriorated but not all that much in 22 years (I suppose only 17 when I visited). If I remember correctly, I looked in that second set of doors and the interior was complete darkness, so I didn't take any pictures. This was long before cell phone cameras had the fancy night-vision stuff they have now, so the phone wouldn't have helped at all either.
That's all for this ShopRite, and in addition to the Gerrity's Fresh Grocers around the Wyoming Valley (plus a few Price Rites), there is now one ShopRite in the Valley, in Moosic. We're way at the eastern part of Wilkes-Barre here, just about a mile northwest of where the development gives way to wilderness (and route 81 is built right along that border). So now we're going to head west back towards town, to check out an independent supermarket in the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre on The Independent Edition!


  1. Was the ShopRite/CostRite in Eynon part of Big V? It was Shoprite in the 80's and later changed to CostRite. Might have closed around the same time as this one.

    1. It's a good question. Looks like the answer is yes. A 1999 newspaper ad says "CostRite is a division of Big V Supermarkets, Inc." Good catch!

  2. Here's an article that sheds quite a bit of light on this store. Apparently it opened and closed within 5 months in 2001.

    1. That's fantastic, thanks for sharing the article!

    2. The store in Catskill, NY that was part of Big V also used that CostRite name.

      Never was sure quite how that connected to the later PriceRite name (since they were much the same store), but it makes sense since at that time Price Rite was only a corporate name (not used by members), so they took the idea and used it with a slightly different name for stores like that one that were older/smaller and areas they apparently couldn't or didn't want to expand (whereas Hudson across the river they built a newer store and demolished part of the old Quonset one to provide access to the new one).

    3. Thanks for that! And if I'm not mistaken, the CostRite logo was pretty much identical to the Price Rite logo (the one with the checkmark), right?

  3. This store was originally a Grant City and later became a Hechinger before ShopRite, which might explain the garden center. You can see an older picture of this store on the Wikipedia page for Hechinger.

    I'm really surprised the pharmacy sign is still up. It's amazing that any signage from 20+ years ago remains, but especially for the pharmacy, considering usually stores are legally required to take down/cover the pharmacy signage if the pharmacy has closed. I wonder what the situation was here that made that happen.

    Thanks for the look around! I've always wondered what the inside of this store looks like. It's nice to finally have some look at the interior.

    1. Thanks for the history here! Agreed on the pharmacy signage, that's unusual for sure. We get a tiny little look, but I sure wish I could've gotten more photos of the inside!

  4. Very good coverage of this store! This store's quick crash and burn has always fascinated me, as this store went in and out with a bang. I was in this ShopRite once during its brief time open, and it was a huge store. Your description of the layout is pretty much correct - the front end was the right side of the building, the grand aisle ran along the front wall, and the grocery aisles were parallel to the front wall of the building. I thought the layout was weird, as the store was rotated 90 degrees from what you'd expect. Besides the general layout, I can't remember much else about the store other than a few faint memories of just being inside it, although I wish I could remember more.

    The garden center was never used by ShopRite - that's a remnant from when this store was a Triangle Hardware and later Hechinger. That side of the building also had an outdoor lumber yard in those days too. It's just sat there in decay ever since Hechinger closed. It's crazy that side of the building is still sitting frozen in time 22 years later, and I wonder if anyone will ever take over that half of the building.

    1. Thanks for your memories here! As I mentioned, and as I'm sure you know, the 90-degree rotated layout is especially strange when considering the ShopRite building's setup faces it away from the rest of the mall it's in.


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