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Apr 15, 2009 1:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Stop & Shop will open its doors Friday in Hampton Bays

Apr 15, 2009 1:34 PM

Linda Anno says she does her grocery shopping at the King Kullen supermarket in Hampton Bays for one simple reason.

“It’s the only one,” the part-time Hampton Bays resident said while loading her groceries into her car last Thursday, April 9.

Though there is also a Wild By Nature operating in Hampton Bays, that supermarket, which specializes in organic foods, is also owned by King Kullen.

But when the hamlet’s new supermarket, a Stop & Shop, opens on Friday, April 17, Ms. Anno said she will check it out—and hinted that the newcomer to the Hampton Bays grocery shopping scene might bring some competition for the established supermarkets, and that could benefit shoppers.

“They have good prices,” Ms. Anno said of Stop & Shop. “Maybe it will help King Kullen bring its prices down.”

For many years, King Kullen was the only supermarket in Hampton Bays. Then, in 2007, the chain opened a second store, a Wild By Nature, on the site of the former King Kullen after the company built a new supermarket about a mile to the east. The Wild By Nature is located just west of the new Stop & Shop, which sits on the north side of Montauk Highway, just west of the intersection with County Road 24.

In total, there will soon be three supermarkets all located within two miles of one another in Hampton Bays. Though some have speculated that it will be difficult for three supermarkets to survive in the hamlet, representatives of Stop & Shop have stated in previous interviews that they are confident that Hampton Bays will be able to support a third store. Faith Weiner, the director of public affairs for Stop & Shop, could not be reached this week.

Representatives of King Kullen also did not return calls seeking comment.

The new Stop & Shop will feature a full-service pharmacy as well as bakery, seafood, deli and floral departments. The new supermarket, which is opening about a month ahead of schedule, will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held today, Thursday, April 16, at 5 p.m. Starting at that time, local shoppers will also be able to take a sneak peek at the fully stocked store and enjoy refreshments, Stop & Shop officials said.

Friday’s opening will mark the end of a supermarket saga that began more than six years ago when Hampton Bays Connections, a group of doctors who owned the property on which the Stop & Shop now sits, filed suit against Southampton Town. The civil lawsuit charged that town planners discriminated against the group when they denied the firm’s request to construct a medical center on a nearby site as retribution for building a McDonald’s on the same property that the new Stop & Shop is now located.

David Armanetti, the director of real estate development for the Richmond Company, the Massachusetts development firm behind the new supermarket, and Ray Schwarz, the customer service manager for the new Stop & Shop, were on hand to answer questions about the new supermarket during the April 6 meeting of the Hampton Bays Beautification Association.

Mr. Schwarz explained to the nearly three dozen meeting attendees that the Hampton Bays store will measure about 50,000 square feet and will be slightly smaller than other Stop & Shop supermarkets in Suffolk County, in order to meet Southampton Town zoning requirements. For example, he noted that the Riverhead supermarket measures 68,000 square feet, including a 6,000-square-foot section for the chain’s Peapod service. Mr. Schwarz explained that Peapod, Stop & Shop’s online home food delivery service, will not be offered at the new Hampton Bays store, though it is currently offered at the Riverhead supermarket.

The new Hampton Bays supermarket will carry the chain’s Nature’s Promise products, Stop & Shop’s organic food brand, as well as Simply Enjoy, the company’s high-quality food line, according to Mr. Schwarz.

To help prepare for Friday’s grand opening, Stop & Shop executives had to screen hundreds of applicants before hiring 50 full-time employees and approximately 175 part-time workers to help staff the new store, Mr. Schwarz said. The chain operates more than 375 stores in seven states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine an New York, and employs nearly 60,000 people, according to the Stop & Shop website.

Locally, the chain operates a store on Route 58 in Riverhead that opened last year, and another supermarket in Shirley.

Meeting the demands of town and community representatives, Stop & Shop had to construct a building featuring architecture that fits in with the character of the community. The result: the new supermarket will feature a gray clapboard and brick facade that will be segmented in order to give the appearance of several shops instead of one super-sized supermarket.

Additionally, Stop & Shop has allocated approximately $400,000 for the installation of landscaping, and the company has created an escrow account to cover future maintenance of the property, according to Mr. Schwarz. The Richmond Company has also agreed to set aside $20,000 for the construction of a cedar shingled bus station that will sit in front of the supermarket on Montauk Highway.

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By C Law (354), Water Mill on Apr 15, 09 4:25 PM
I've heard from my friend who just got a job at the new Stop & Shop that it is smaller than the one in Riverhead and that they are gearing up for the"Summer Hamptons" crowds and jacked up their prices at least $1 more on products than in the Riverhead store. So I doubt King Kullen will care about competition. Their prices will both be about the same.
By BigL11946 (29), Hampton Bays on Apr 15, 09 4:45 PM
I am an old timer that has been shopping for many years. The King Kullen's Stores in recent years have had the highest prices aside from the Wild by Nature Store in the area. When Stop & Shop opened in Riverhead I tried it. I went back to shopping at Waldbaums. Than to Best Yet in Riverhead for my fruits and vegetables. A yearly big savings.

Carol, East Quogue
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Apr 15, 09 4:52 PM
I live in Hampton Bays have been shopping in Riverhead for the last 12 years. I usually get my gas for 20 cents a gallon cheaper there and save enough in groceries to fund 2 annual vacations for my family. Best Yet for cold cuts and Waldbaums for everything else. I am not a big fan of Stop N Shop either. King Kullen is the Anti-Christ and I only use them for my $1 doubled coupons.

When the lawsuit against the town was going on it was proved in court that King Kullen charges 20% more on ...more
By Dr Spock (36), Hampton Bays on Apr 15, 09 5:48 PM
Oh, you all haven't known suffering until you've done your grocery shopping at the Waldbaum's in Westhampton Beach . . . !
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Apr 15, 09 7:52 PM
It's amazing that Southampton only has one Waldbaum's and Schmidt's for your basic marketing needs; both are pretty pricey. As retired year round three-day weekenders in Southie, we routinely shop at Costco and Riverhead on our drives in from the city.
By rickyonmain (10), southampton on Apr 15, 09 8:56 PM
If Costco came to Riverhead, it would give all these supermarkets a run for their money. Another "one stop shopping" will just cut into the traditional small businesses in Hampton Bays to help drive them out. Just what we need.
By Bob Whyte (48), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 09 6:38 AM
Too bad the super walmart in riverhead was turned down. You can save over 30% on all your groceries even if you are shopping at the combo of waldbaums and best yet. We us king kullen like a 7 eleven, for convenience only.
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Apr 16, 09 6:57 AM
KK has been a Republican strong hold in Suffolk County for years. That why they get what they want! Walbaums in Southampton is a jammed fire trap. It smells when you walk in. The prices in KK are higher than any supermarket around. Shop and Shop is only good for what they advertise on sale. Now KK plans on building on CR39 in Southampton. Why do we need another KK???? We have WBN,and KK in Hampton Bays and a KK in Bridgehampton. How about giving the people a break!! How much do you bet that our ...more
By bayview (160), Southampton on Apr 16, 09 9:21 AM
This morning I did my own survey from the supermarket sale ads for my weekly purchases. Riverhead Waldbaums 16 items, Best Yet 9 items for fruits and vegetables. King Kullens 3 items and the new Grand Opening Stop & Shop ad 2 items . Needless to say even with the new Stop and Shop I will have no reason to shop for groceries in Hampton Bays.

Carol, East Quogue Senior
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Apr 16, 09 10:37 AM
talk about taking a dump on hampton bays! thanks air-e-ola nice sale
By dogfacejones (81), Southampton on Apr 16, 09 11:21 AM
Stop&shop is just another bait and switch chain no different then KK !Expensive!.Everyone I know with a family to feed and car to fill up have done and will continue to do their shopping in Riverhead.30 years ago there were 4 large stores in the Bays and they all made money with probably half the population. It makes you wonder, with all the "gentrification" that everone has talked about, has your quality of life realy improved in in all that time . The resounding answer is NO!
By Father of 4 (4), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 09 2:49 PM
I couldn't agree wiht you more, price in HB are so outrageous that they have turned into an "something I need now as an emergency" option, otherwise BJ's and Best Yet are the best places for grocery shopping, I must say I miss the days Key Food was open, although it wasn't the best looking place, their prices were at least fair.
By HBresident (24), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 09 9:58 PM
try living in east hampton..trapped between two terrible grocery stores..waldbaums and iga..both price gougers and small and terrible produce and nasty checkers...then we have the kk in bridgehampton which is even more expensive! and EHT won't give us another store although we have the space and need!
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Apr 17, 09 9:42 AM
The Stop & Shop in Riverhead is great, and so should be the one in Hampton Bays -- been using Stop & Shop almost exclusively for just about 11 years now, and it has the best selection and best prices of any of the supermarket chains my wife and I have tried.

Used to have to go to Medford or Lake Grove. Now Route 58 is very convenient to us.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 17, 09 3:12 PM
i hung out there and i got free bread and a frisbee on opening day.looks like a good place to hang out
By pinga (90), hamptonbays on Apr 18, 09 7:53 AM
why dont they come out to East Hampton walbaums and iga is a joke
By ehrez (3), easr hampton on Apr 19, 09 8:13 PM