UNION, NJ — The former ShopRite property at the intersection of Morris and Liberty Avenues will be home to a new chain thrift store in the fall. The vacant building, located at 2661 Morris Avenue, has been empty since 2014.
When Mayor Michele Delisfort took office in January, she said filling the long-term commercial vacancy — along with others such as the former Money Store property on Morris Avenue — was a major goal for the Union Township Committee.
2nd Ave Value Stores will occupy the 40,000-square-foot space with a retail outlet “dedicated to bringing customers the best value in clothing,” according to a Feb. 21 press release from Levin Management Corporation, which arranged the lease.
The design of the store will include a library lounge, a kids-only play space and expedited checkout services.
“In our experience, thrift customers aren’t necessarily loyal to a particular brand, but to thrifting in general,” George Baltasar, 2nd Ave Value Stores’ chief operating officer, said in the release. “Markets such as this one — already are home to an established thrift store shopping base — are very attractive to us.”
2nd Ave Value Stores has a total of 10 locations throughout the mid-Atlantic area, including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pennsauken, near Camden. All their locations are open seven days a week, according to the business’ website.
“We are extremely proud of our Union store and look forward to introducing 2nd Ave’s easy, fun and efficient discount shopping experience to local consumers this fall,” Baltasar said.
Jordan Korris, the leasing representative for Levin Management Corporation, said that due to the property’s close proximity to another supermarket, the location is better suited for the thrift store.
“This property’s demographics, including residential population of nearly 150,000 people within a 3-mile radius, along with its accessibility, visibility and proximity to a popular Stop & Shop location, created an ideal leasing scenario,” he said in the release.
James Masterson, executive director of the Union Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes that the thrift store will join the chamber and be active in the community.
“The chamber is always pleased to welcome new businesses into our township, and it is good to finally have that site occupied,” he said in an email to LocalSource on Feb. 28. “I researched this company, and they appear to have good customer reviews online. Also, their website describes them as a company that wishes to become involved in and supportive of its host communities and local nonprofits and charities.”
According to its website, the thrift store chain prides itself on “demonstrating the epitome of a symbiotic relationship” by providing millions of dollars to charities and by purchasing their merchandise through collection efforts.
It also states its mission is to “provide each and every customer with the best in discount retail and to be a long-standing part of the community.”