Almost a year to the day after the supermarket it is replacing closed, Stop & Shop is finally opening on Friday, June 24 in that retail space in Shawsheen Plaza.
Company officials have said all along that renovations to the building were extensive and that more work than they expected was needed.
The company hosted a tour on Monday, June 20, for the Townsman and officials proudly showed off its brand new supermarket. Suzi Robinson, of the company's New England Division, talked about the Andover store's energy efficiency.
"We're ready," Robinson said of Friday morning's opening at 7 a.m. "We're ready for Andover shoppers."
Gleaming floor tiles and well-stocked aisles await.
Town building codes required Stop & Shop to renovate within the original footprint of the building. A super-sized Stop & Shop, like the store on Route 114 in North Andover, was not allowed. But Robinson said the Andover store carries everything a Super Stop & Stop carries. For example, there is a florist area, a deli and a bakery, along with an aisle for pet toys.
There are 11 cash registers and four will not have cashiers. Rather, those registers will feature a "self-check out" for shoppers.
Store Manager Jim Allen, who previously managed Stop & Shops in North Andover and North Reading, said the store brings 150 jobs.
"I'm happy to be here in Andover," he said. "We've got a great group of people."
Lots of workers from various trades hustled around the store making sure everything worked properly. Landscapers were spiffing up the parking lot. While the lot wasnot repaved, parking line were repainted white and mulched islands with trees have been added.
Store hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Stop & Shop holds the master lease to Shawsheen Plaza, Andover's largest shopping plaza, which was sold on Oct. 7, 2008. It was purchased for $12.7 million, according to real estate documents from the Registry of Deeds Northern Essex District.
The lease to the former supermarket tenant, Market Basket, expired June 30, 2010. That lease was not renewed to the former 40-year tenant.
The Guys of Andover LLC of Loring Avenue in Salem, Mass. manage 199 and 209 North Main St., which is the entire plaza property.
Stop & Shop
Shawsheen Plaza, Route 28
Thursday, June 23, private reception features New England Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, a cappella group group Ball in the House (America's Got Talent contestant), 6-8 p.m.
Opening on June 24
Sunday, June 26, 1-3 p.m., cookbook signing with Joanne Chang, owner of Flour bakery in Boston and author of "Flour: Spectacular Recipes"
Free $10 gift cards to first 50 customers on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 24-26