The New England institution immortalized in the words of Jonathan Richman’s new wave anthem Road Runner turned 100 last year.

Stop & Shop has been through plenty of changes down the years but remains true to its values that state: “Our commitment starts and ends with you, our customers. For 100 years, we’ve operated our business with a single goal in mind: delivering unmatched selection, quality and value.”

The Stop & Shop brand is instantly recognisable in New England, with over 359 stores opened throughout the region, New York and New Jersey and over 59,000 employed associates. That is all a far cry from 1914, when the Rabinowitz family first opened a corner grocery store in Somerville, Massachusetts.

From the very beginning, innovation was at the heart of their enterprise and within 4 years, they had introduced the modern self-service supermarket, growing into a flourishing chain of 86 supermarkets by 1947.

Part of Stop & Shop’s enduring appeal is its ability to connect with its local communities, something that the corporate website underlines:

“We do what we can to understand our customers’ needs, and in doing so we truly become part of the communities we serve.

“We’re better together. By hiring a diverse team of associates, we can deliver a better customer experience to you, your families and your neighbors.”

However, it is not just the customer that benefits from having a Stop & Shop supermarket on its doorstep; suppliers have been able to embellish their businesses too, thanks to the company’s involvement with Ahold USA Retail:

“We develop mutually beneficial partnerships with Minority Business Enterprises that offer quality products and services, excellent customer service and competitive costs. It’s all about being your better neighbour,” affirms the company website.

“Ahold USA Retail is committed to developing mutually beneficial and successful partnerships with diverse suppliers nationally and small businesses headquartered in our geographic footprint.  We develop these relationships by incorporating these businesses into the everyday process of category reviews and product or service bids.  Our supplier diversity initiative aims to enhance the procurement process by developing strong business relationships with a talented group of small and diverse businesses that offer quality products and services, excellent customer service and competitive costs,” the Ahold website describes.

Of course supply chain is a crucial component when it comes to quality and availability of stock – and Stop & Shop is renowned for its customer loyalty, which is enhanced by regular weekly savings and a hugely successful Reward Card program.

In an increasingly competitive, cost-sensitive retail environment, it is often the small things that add value to service, that add up to customer retention. Stop & Shop introduced a number of initiatives for the recent Thanksgiving and Holiday Seasons, including its exclusive Simply Enjoy brand, a collection of gourmet food items returning for the season with even more new products that are all foodie approved and made with the finest ingredients.

Stop & Shop works with specialty suppliers who hand-craft their items to bring customers a

unique selection not typically found in the traditional supermarket. Among the featured Simply Enjoy products this holiday were frozen appetizers and desserts, deli pastas, seafood sauces, dipping oils, sorbetto/gelato, chocolates, hummus, crackers and sparkling sodas to name just a few.

Customers were also able to pick up a free Simply Enjoy Memorable Menu Ideas booklet at any Stop & Shop store for recipes, entertaining ideas featuring the Simply Enjoy products, and valuable coupons. Simply Enjoy products also make a great gift for the foodie or hostess on your list.

Stop & Shop also recently launched its new Recipe Center athttp://stopandshop.com/recipes-and-meals/recipe-center with more than 2,500 every day and special occasion recipes. Fresh content is added weekly and all recipes are made even more affordable by utilizing sale items and Stop & Shop’s Own Brand products. How-to videos and nutrition information are also available.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores.

With so much initiative, Stop & Shop remains an iconic reminder of the virtues of gold old fashioned American service.