June 25, 2018

Shoprite on McDonald Avenue Maintains Kosher Clientele Despite Strong Competition

Brooklyn, NY…The parking lot was filled to a spot and the aisles in the large sprawling Shoprite store were crowded on a Wednesday night in June. The clientele were a mixed bag from almost every ethnicity but the largest group were clearly identifiable kosher consumers.  Located on McDonald Avenue and Avenue I, the Shoprite store is one of the strongest stores in the Wakefern family of franchised stores. The Wakefern Food Corporation, founded in 1946 and based in Keasbey, New Jersey, is the largest retailers' cooperative group of supermarkets in the United States.  Kosher food industry sources are extremely impressed with the resiliency of the store which has maintained its kosher base despite the explosion of kosher independents in the area and such discount phenomenon’s as Bingo. Many Shoprite stores include “The Kosher Experience,” which is a kosher store within the supermarket. But here on McDonald Ave, the store has a full compliment of kosher foods in every section, including dairy, dry, meats, and refrigerated. Shoppers say that the store carries products that appeal to every type of kosher consumers, even the most Orthodox.

Assistant store manager Randy Rosaly agrees that the store may have initially lost some kosher customers to stores like Bingo, but he says that the store’s customer base remains extremely loyal and strong. He credits “carrying all the major kosher brands, keeping the shelves full, the great relationship with the kosher vendors, and, of course price.” The store is under the supervision of Rabbi S. D. Beck. One Millennial customer said: “I saved about $34 on my weekly shopping bill from another well-known kosher store I went to last week.” Many other shoppers Kosher Today spoke to said that they shopped at the store because of “better pricing, and many great specials.” Shoprite stores in many parts of the Northeast are some of the strongest kosher selling supermarkets. In Englewood, the store recently added 20,000 square feet to accommodate an expanded kosher section. With all the focus on the independents, industry sources say that the traditional supermarkets remain strong.