By Gayla Cawley |  Item Live | October 14, 2020

The former Shaw’s on State Street is set to become another supermarket, according to a spokesperson for the company that owns the downtown property. 

The new supermarket, Stop and Compare, is expected to open its second Lynn location next summer in the former Shaw’s building, according to Maria Pace, a spokesperson for Brixmor Property Group.  

It’s been nearly two years since Shaw’s closed for good, which left the city without a supermarket in the downtown, and in turn made it more difficult for many of Lynn’s low-income residents to have access to a full-service grocery store and fresh food. 

The Shaw's Market facade undergoes remodeling in Lynn. (Olivia Falcigno)

Recognizing that the supermarket’s closure would add to the grocery gap in the city, which was highlighted in a Daily Item article last year, directly influenced Brixmor Property Group’s decision to “actively pursue a replacement grocer to fill the market void,” Pace said. 

“One of Brixmor’s foremost tenets (is) to bring in uses that are relevant to the communities we serve,” said Pace. “Redevelopment is underway for a new 23,500 square-foot Stop and Compare flagship grocery store located in the former Shaw’s location. We anticipate a summer 2021 opening, however, our tenants prefer to state their opening dates.

“We are actively seeking retailers for a 27,427 (square-foot) junior anchor space and a 3,675 square-foot small shop space and look forward to sharing tenant names once leases are finalized.” 

When Shaw’s closed in February 2019, the city was left with only four supermarkets — Market Basket on Federal Street, Stop & Shop on Washington Street, Stop and Compare on Adams Street, and Price Rite on the Lynnway — and none in the downtown. 

People who wanted to continue shopping in their neighborhoods could still go to corner stores and bodegas, but there isn’t the same offering of produce and fresh food, and prices are often higher. There is a downtown farmers’ market in the summer, but the winter lacks that access to fresh food. 

At the time of Shaw’s closure, local food insecurity experts expected it to exacerbate the city’s existing grocery gap — a 2017 report ranked Lynn eighth in terms of Massachusetts communities with the most significant gap, areas where residents are underserved by available grocers and markets, according to the Massachusetts Food Trust. 

Stop and Compare, which already operates a store in Lynn, is a family-owned and operated neighborhood supermarket with another location in Chelsea. The grocery chain was formed in 1996 with a stated purpose of seeking to serve the Hispanic and ethnic population of the Boston Metropolitan areas and other New England communities, according to its website. 

“Our customer base is diverse,” said the grocer’s website. “We try to serve the tastes of the ethnic population of the neighborhood. In Chelsea, most of our customers are from Central and South America. Lynn’s customers hail from Santo Domingo and Guatemala.” 

Calls and emails seeking comment from a Stop and Compare representative were not returned. 

James Cowdell, Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn executive director, said a supermarket is a great addition to the downtown. 

“Compare has been very successful in their East Lynn location and will do well in their new additional location,” said Cowdell. “It will create almost 100 new jobs. There are many seniors that live in this area, as well as all of the new residents moving into the downtown. We feel it’s a great fit.” 

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