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Ocean State Job Lot Set to Take Ownership, Expand Webster Square Plaza

The former site of A&P Food Supermart will be vacant no more – and it will mean a larger store, more jobs and the potential for future development in the area, company officials said.

Credit: Ocean State Job Lot.
Credit: Ocean State Job Lot.
By summer 2014, the former site of A&P Food Supermart will be vacant no more.

Representatives with Ocean State Job Lot, a Rhode Island based chain with more than 100 stores throughout the northeast, announced Wednesday that the company has purchased Webster Square Plaza in Berlin and will move it’s location, doubling the size of the store and opening room for potential economic development in the future.

“We are enthusiastic and optimistic about expanding our Berlin store to a footprint roughly twice the size of our current location,” David Sarlitto, head of marketing for Ocean State Job Lot, said Wednesday. “This gives shoppers twice as much to love about Job Lot, and affords us the opportunity to expand our base of store associates within the area.”

“With this move, we now have the opportunity for increased closeout inventory, additional merchandise selection, and a wider assortment of brands that our customers will certainly appreciate. We love Berlin – it has been a great place for us and we look forward to our new relationship with fellow tenants and town leaders,” he said.

Ocean State Job Lot has been a tenant of the center since 2001 when it opened its Berlin store at 133 Webster Square Road.

By early Summer 2014, company officials said the chain will relocate its existing 22,466 sq. ft. store to a larger, 46,229 sq. ft. site at 207 Webster Square Road. The site had been vacant since A&P closed its doors in 2010.

Terms of the agreement, including the price agreed upon for the purchase, were not disclosed Wednesday.

For Berlin residents, the announcement means a creation of jobs in the area, with the company expected to hire additional staff, both part-time and full-time. It will also expand to include future tenants to help round out a plaza that currently includes Harbor Freight Tools, Family Dollar, H&H Linen Service, and Wa-Wah Kitchen.

“As owner of the Shopping Center, Ocean State Job Lot is actively recruiting tenants for its soon-to-be available space,” company press contact Alexandra Weston said in a press release. “It is also considering a number of physical improvements to its store interior as well as to the exterior façade of the 159,562 square foot building and surrounding landscaping.”

Berlin Mayor Rachel Rochette praised the company’s plan, saying it would be an economic boost for the entire community.

Founded in 1977, Ocean State Job Lot is a growing, privately held retail chain with 111 stores in the six New England states and New York, approximately 4,000 employees, and annual sales exceeding $540 million.  

“Since their store will be an anchor of the development, they will have a strong vested interest in the success of the property,” Rochette said. “We have been in communication with officials for Ocean State Job Lot and we understand that they are finalizing their plans for improvements. This is a very prominent property in the town, so I look forward to continuing our dialogue with Ocean State Job Lot to help them revitalize this important retail shopping center."

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Elaine Marie Morin January 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Finally something will be done with this plaza. It has been a dump for a long time in Berlin. I am looking forward to the change. Elaine Benseghir Berlin Resident for over 25 years.

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