Stop & Shop, the Metro New York market’s second largest grocery retailer, has completed upgrades at 21 of its 50 Long Island stores in the two-county region where it is the share of market leader.

Stop & Shop currently operates 27 stores in Suffolk County and the following 21 locations are included in the improvement effort: Bay Shore; Coram, Deer Park; East Islip; East Northport; East Setauket; Farmingville; Hampton Bays; Holbrook; Islandia; Lake Ronkonkoma; Medford; Miller Place; Northport; Riverhead; Rocky Point; Sayville; Shirley; Smithtown; South Setauket; and West Islip.

The completion of the major remodeling program was celebrated earlier this month with a ribbon cutting at its Smithtown store. The store renovations represent a $133 million investment for the largest of Ahold Delhaize USA’s brands. Part of that spend includes the hiring of 350 part-time associates and the promotion of nearly 100 current associates to full-time positions.

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“The remodeling of our Long Island stores is a key milestone in our journey to refresh the Stop & Shop brand for the future and to strengthen our position as market leader,” said Stop & Shop president Gordon Reid, who was named to the top job at Stop & Shop in July after serving as president of sister firm Giant Food, Landover, MD, for nearly six years. “We’re excited for local customers to enjoy the changes we’ve brought to Long Island like even more fresh produce, lower prices and new solutions to help make things easy for our customers to get their shopping done and get back to what matters most.”

The Long Island upgrades are part of the regional chain’s “Reimagining Stop & Shop” strategy, a multi-year initiative to refresh the brand’s more than 400 stores across New England and Metro New York. Long Island is the second market to unveil Stop & Shop’s new look, following 21 stores that were remodeled in 2018 in the Hartford, CT market.

All told, Stop & Shop plans to spend nearly $2 billion to upgrade its entire fleet over the next four years. The remainder of Stop & Shop’s other Long Island stores will also be remodeled as part of that overall capital improvement initiative.

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While the level of store improvements vary by location, highlights of the 21 newly refreshed Stop & Shop stores include: expanded produce sections; more prepared foods; wide selection of local and craft beers; in-store cafes; dedicated Italian sections; increased selection of specialty cheeses; convenience cases containing essential items; faster checkout (with the chain’s Scan-It! mobile app); and same day online pick-up so orders placed online at peapod.com can be picked up at the store as soon as four hours later.

As far as progress concerning Stop & Shop’s agreement to acquire Long Island rival King Kullen, the wait continues as the Federal Trade Commission is still reviewing the deal which was originally announced in January 2019.

However, in the past few months, King Kullen closed two Suffolk County units – Lake Ronkonkoma and Brookhaven – and plans to close its North Babylon store on September 26.