STORE OF THE MONTH: Stellar Service

When it opened a store in the underserved area of Arvene, N.Y., Stop & Shop was determined to staff the store with local residents, and then acquaint them with the company’s unique approach to customer service.

“We recruited right from the area,” relates Ron Onorato, president of Stop & Shop’s Fairfield, Conn.-based New York Metro division. “We ran ads in the local papers and hired 150 people. One-hundred and twenty-five of the associates here in the store now are from Arverne and the Rockaways.”

To ensure the best possible associates, the company was “very diligent” in the selection and screening of job candidates, adds store manager Vito Orlando.

The company then brought in 25 people from sister stores to conduct staff training -- “to teach people … the Stop & Shop methods of doing things,” as Onorato puts it -- and the results speak for themselves: The store has received “overwhelming praises for our associates” from a grateful community, according to Onorato. This piece of information is enthusiastically seconded by Orlando, who says he hears compliments about his staffers on a daily basis.

Top-notch customer service is “one of the things we strive for in our business, and they have done an outstanding job here in Arverne,” observes Onorato.

To read the full April 2011 Store of the Month story, “Rockaway Renaissance,” visit

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds