SHREWSBURY: JOB LOTTER RENTS GIANT SPACE

179 NSrd 2 080308Ocean State Job Lot will open its first New Jersey store in the building, which was vacated by Foodtown in August, 2008.

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After a vacancy of more than five years, a former supermarket on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury has landed a tenant.

Ocean State Job Lot, a closeout retailer based in Rhode Island, plans to open its first New Jersey store at the location, company store planner Jocelyn Bromley tells redbankgreen.

Founded by brothers Marc and Alan Perlman – who sold mattresses out of a van soon after graduating from college in the late 1970s – Ocean State now has 112 stores doing $500 million a year in sales in New England.

The stores sell housewares, seasonal goods, clothing, hardware, non-perishable foods and more, Bromley said.

“Although we are known as a closeout company, we prefer to think of ourselves as opportunistic merchants,” says a statement on the company website. “Our merchandise selection not only consists of a variety of manufacturer’s overruns, overstocks and packaging changes, but also includes many areas where our buyers have determined that ‘holes’ exist in the marketplace. We are constantly on the hunt for special deals, which allow us to offer quality brand name merchandise at closeout prices.”

The debut of the Shrewsbury store, in a 46,000-square-foot one-story building with access to Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue, is planned for June 19, Bromley said.

The space, a former Stop & Shop supermarket, became a SuperFoodtown store in late 2007, when officials at parent company Food Circus made a bet that the location would make shopping easier for customers of the Red Bank store less than half a mile away, on Broad Street.

But just ten months later, in August 2008, Food Circus bailed on the experiment. At the time, a company official attributed the closing to the softening of the economy as well as site visibility and access shortcomings.

The property, assessed at  – $6.7 million down from $7.9 million in 2008 – has been owned since 1996 by Shrewsbury/Newman Springs Road LLC, according to records held by the Monmouth County Clerk’s office.

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