Tour: Shaw's - Rockport, Massachusetts

Wondering why there's a Store Tour on a Monday? It's because we're part of The Market Report's Bizarro Week shenanigans. They're covering all A&P stores, and we're covering all non-A&P stores! Let's get right to it! 

While I was traveling just outside of Boston in Gloucester, MA, I shopped at the local Shaw's many times. For those who are not familiar with this chain, Shaw's is a chain owned by Albertsons Companies (Same as Acme), who also own Star Market stores in the New England area. 

This store is actually very small. It tops out at around 35,000 square feet. If you look at the facade, you can see that this wasn't originally a Shaw's... the spacing outside of the lightbox shows that "Star Market" probably originally was put up there. And hey... look at that cart corral! Black... and aluminum! If only Acme got this treatment...

From the deluxe cart corrals we enter into a rather bland decor. This appears to be Shaw's version of Premium Fresh & Healthy 3.0, which was the paint-and-plastic version of the decor (as Acme Style calls it). This produce department smelled of actual produce... not "cheep chicken". (Only Acme shoppers know that reference). 

Not a bad produce department... 

...unfortunately, there were some bare shelves.

Interesting displays over here.

Being an avid Acme shopper, I was shocked to see the things that are shared between the chains... from circulars to even the "Sweet Corn 5pk" stickers. 

$5 deals still here at Shaw's! And what's that?...

Shaw's "Fresh Produce" boxes! These have been hanging around at every Acme store I visit since 2015... unfortunately not as personalized:
Image result for acme fresh produce box

The price tags here are oddly similar to Stop & Shop's... but much easier to read than Redner's and other chains (Key Food, I'm calling you out here) The lettering is huge!

Signature brands are still being rolled out here... I had actually picked up a Culinary Circle (SuperValu) mozzarella in the deli. 

Obviously this is flooring from an older remodel... any New England A&P fans know what the old decor looked like?

Sorry for the blurry photo here. When I took this photo I had just tripped myself with my own shopping cart. Go figure. Unfortunately I didn't get another shot.
Oh, Signature Muffins. They're the best! Reminded me of my own Doylestown Acme.
New black carts are parading me around the store here... apparently these carts were actually just being rolled out of the truck when I got here, so a few janitors were rolling them out. 
See anything odd here? Safeway and Signature honey. 
The Wing Bar signage here is practically identical to Acme's.... as well as the $5 deal sign next to the Coca-Cola display.
I have to admit, I like how Shaw's is laid out! All of the departments in one end.
It gives you a "Marketplace" type vibe, similar to those of Giant.
A gigantic meat department lines the back of the store. This store doesn't look too dated on the inside. The outside sure does.
"Shop The World" is one of the departments left behind from the SuperValu days.
These aisle markers really make it seem like the "PF&H 3.0" of Shaw's.

Another culprit of the snatching of A&P's wood slats! Click here to see a previous copy.
These linoleum floors are better than those in other stores I've toured in the past. Just look at how it shines! It's almost as if Shaw's knew I was coming. Definitely better than the Pathmark in Wilmington.
Who in their right minds are going to pay $7 for a bottle of TONIC WATER? I get that Albertsons is trying to be 'high-end' with their new storebrands, but this is ridiculous. I bet you're only paying for the glass bottle.
The store dips back down into a very low drop-ceiling in the Dairy and Frozen aisles.
This section screams Pathmark. The back-filled milk and juice on carts and the aisle toppers somehow remind me that James Karen was selling me milk.
A very Giant-esque last aisle. 
Now, I know I'm from Pennsylvania and all, but it made me relieved that I still was able to buy Lehigh Valley brand milk in Boston... oh wait, what's that? It has its cousin... Garelick Farms. I'll stick with Hood.
Odd sales cap in the front-right of the store. They can't do anything with it probably... they share a space with Rite Aid next to them, and there's a bank in the center, too.
"Shaw's: The Official Supermarket Of The Boston Red Sox" just doesn't intrigue me while shopping. I'm a hardcore Yankees fan. You just lost a custome-- oh wait, you have Halo Top Ice Cream BOGO? And Sunkist Soda in a Coca-Cola 2-Liter Bottle? Eh, they still got my purchase. The house we rented in Rockport was less than two miles from Shaw's, so obviously we would keep going back.
Thank YOU Shaw's for filling my Acme void while I was in Boston!

Man, those are some nice carts.

Shaw's of Rockport

127 Eastern Avenue
Gloucester, MA

(Most Likely) Star Market > Shaw's


  1. Excuse me, I don't remember including "The Market Report's shenanigans" in our agreement about how we can promote this week! Just a few notes on this store, since I've gotten to know Shaw's pretty well recently...

    Funny that you mention the smell of produce in the store. Actually, one of the reasons I like Shaw's is because of the smell -- for me, it takes me back to the old ACME on Magie Avenue in Union I grew up shopping at! Somewhere between baked goods and general mustiness, and I love it.

    As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure this decor actually predates all of the PF&H versions. Shaw's currently uses a Quality Built variation, and I've been to Shaw's with v1.0 and 3.0 fully intact. Pretty sure 2.0 is out there somewhere. Before that, they used a really nice design for which there was no ACME equivalent (see either store in Worcester, MA). This decor package is therefore almost 15 years old, which is crazy! Looks much newer. In some stores, it's in much worse condition.

    A few of the Shaw's that I've been to have had those strange empty spaces in the front corners. I think that's one of the shortcomings of the one-sided layout that Shaw's uses -- it kind of creates a dead space on the far side of the front end.

    Can't wait to see the rest of what you have for this week!

    1. Oh boy... did I write that wrong! I meant to say "We're teaming up with The Market Report for some shenanigans this week"

      I liked the smell of produce, too. Like I said, I'm used to walking into ACME and smelling their famous fried chicken in the deli department.

      I can't believe that this decor is 15 years old! It seems much newer than that... obviously Shaw's went for that "long-lasting" or "timeless" design, which they succeeded in. The other Gloucester location (Railroad Ave., which I have no photos of) has the same decor, but in much worse condition as you said.

      My guess is that Shaw's plans for a "sales area" in the front end in their stores, which definitely must boost sales... their technique worked on me! That's where all their seasonal and "touristy" items were.

    2. Haha, I was just joking about the shenanigans! I agree that the decor is pretty timeless, but I would argue there are pronounced similarities to Path to Savings, not just in store structure (as you pointed out in the dairy department), but even in the layout of each department's sign.

      You're probably right about the "sales area". In Sturbridge, a PF&H 3.0 store, it's even labeled the "Promotional" department! In some stores, though, it comes out feeling like it's just a random empty space. It doesn't help that some of the Shaw's in the Worcester area have had their self-checkouts removed but unlike many Acmes, not replaced with anything. This makes for a lot of air.

    3. It's funny... I was just thinking before that it (somewhat) resembled the Path to Savings decor!

      The only reason I thought of the "promotional area" was that my local ACME (in Doylestown) had removed their 6 self-checkouts for their sales area. They originally had it located at the other end, but they found that more people entered through the other entrance (under the Acme sign), so they had moved it over sometime in 2014. The original sales area was replaced with 2 lanes of express checkouts, and the remaining part serves for MORE promotional area now...


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