This evening, I went to A&P supermarket in Park Ridge. This supermarket had been closed for renovation for a while. When it reopened, it was rebranded as an A&P Fresh store. Today was their Grand Reopening day. Well, okay, I admit it: the only reason I went was because they sent me a "$10 off a $50 purchase" coupon. :)
The first thing I noticed was that the supermarket looked more open. The storefront now has big glass windows so you can see all the way inside before you enter. Of course, the big windows are positioned so that the most visible part of the store was the produce section with all the colorful fruits and flowers. (Yes, it's a grocer's marketing tactic.)
The store layout (see diagram at the bottom of this page), which used to be strictly linear, is now a mix of front-back aisles, diagonal spaces, and circular alcoves. That arrangement makes things interesting but a little cramped. I noticed that the aisles are narrow, making it hard to get around this evening because there was a crowd on grand reopening day. It won't be as bad on regular weekday nights when the supermarket is not crowded, but compared to the Ramsey Pathmark's broad aisles, A&P's layout seems a little cramped. One thing I really disliked was the way the pharmacy section was tucked in a small room separate from the rest of the store. I didn't know it was there at first so I had to negotiate the produce section a second time to get mouthwash.
As for the actual shopping, I bought groceries for two weeks, enough to fill the fridge and freezer. I also stocked up on cleaning supplies and the aforementioned mouthwash. $50 doesn't go that far nowadays. My total was $78, which went down to $51 with discounts and coupons, and then to $41 with that special $10-off coupon. Will I be back? Perhaps not. I still prefer Pathmark, which is spacious and generally has better deals. If I really needed to go to an A&P, there is one closer to home in Woodcliff Lake, so there really isn't a point in going to A&P Park Ridge for groceries unless I have other business there. Still, it was interesting to see the changes they've made to the store.