Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Coming Soon – Lawrenceville's New Look!

Location: 2497 Brunswick Avenue/Route 1, Lawrenceville, NJ

We heard a while back that the Lawrenceville Shopping Center would be getting a major exterior renovation. The new owners of the shopping center have finally revealed their plans and as you can see above, the Acme will be completely transformed! Isn't it crazy how similar it will look to the old-school 50's stores...

Classic Brick Acme – photo courtesy of Patrick Richardson 

The rendering appears to indicate that Acme's entrance and exit, which are currently in the center of the building, will be relocated to the right side. Hard to know for sure if that's the official plan or if the rendering is just taking some creative license. Judging from the site map included in the brochure for the project, Acme will not be expanding into one or both of the empty storefronts on the left side. We'll have to wait and see if Acme will be doing a more extensive remodel to the interior as the exterior gets significantly improved. The store did receive the Premium Fresh & Healthy décor package back in early 2016. You can check out the current interior by clicking here. For more renderings of the upgraded shopping center, please click here.

Thanks to Paul Richardson for the update on the upcoming makeover!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Acme – South Plainfield, New Jersey

Location: 907 Oak Tree Road, South Plainfield, NJ

Wow. This is a beautiful Acme. Ranks up there with the nicest in the whole chain. Big and clean with every single aisle stocked perfectly. Even all of the displays are neat, tidy and carefully placed around the store. Acme scored some good bones with this one and elevated it even highly with the Quality Built décor.

Super A&P  Food Market opened here in the late 90's, replacing a former Futurestore model across the street. Unfortunately for Acme, ShopRite opened in A&P's old spot in November 2016 after expanding and extensively renovating the building.

I arrived here about 6:00 on a week night. Looked like there was a decent amount of cars in the parking lot but the store was completely dead inside. And the few shoppers that were wondering around were only grabbing a couple of items.

Guess what? This place has SELF-CHECKOUTS!!! 

Quality Built looking fantastic here! Works very well with A&P's old black and white floors.


Before photos courtesy of Mike B. 

There will be a mix of "before" pictures throughout the post thanks to Mike. He took some photos while A&P was winding down and some others after Acme reopened the store.

Maybe I was just here on an off-hour. The store was stocked full of merchandise so it must be doing decent business. Or is it? Maybe it gets really busy on the weekends.

Pharmacy and Customer Service just to the right of the entrance. Health and Beauty is directly across from the Pharmacy with all merchandise on shelves half as high as the rest of the store.

Doesn't look like the pizza oven is used any more. Much of the Food To Go cases to the left were covered with displays of chips. The selection of fresh foods over at ShopRite is very extensive. Acme isn't even trying to compete with it.


The A&P had a late stage "fresh" remodel with simplified murals from the second round and department lettering from the first round. Basically just a décor swap.



The produce was beautiful. Is anyone going to come and buy any of it?


Not many shoppers here on Mike's visit either although it was certainly off-hours as the Seafood Department was closed.

No customers. No employees. And it was 6:00 p.m. Not 10:00 p.m.

Love the fact that this store has a bright white ceiling. Makes all the difference with the lighting. A&P painted the ceilings beige for the most of the "fresh" remodels. Wasn't a good idea. This store feels nearly brand-new despite being around 20 years old.



Absolute crickets from one end of this place the other.

The only shoppers I saw in the entire store with a cart somewhat full of groceries.

Love seeing the new Acme logo on a pure white wall!

A&P had their self-checkouts up at this end. Acme removed them and added in an express register counter. (See below) That is all gone now too. Regular express registers are now at the opposite end next to the newly installed self-checkouts.


Crazy that A&P put in the "fresh" décor and left the tacky 90's register lights!

This store received all new registers along the front-end.

And here are the self-checkouts! Want to know the funny part? The few shoppers that were checking out were doing it at one of the two manned registers! The other register had no customers.

Will this place survive against ShopRite? Doesn't look like it to me but it is hard to judge from one visit. If it wasn't such a trek for me, I'd check it out over a weekend to see if the place does any better.

A cool A&P remnant around back!


Location: 3600 Park Ave, South Plainfield, NJ

So I stopped here before going to the Acme. One look at the parking lot and I thought "oh wow, bet there's no one at the Acme". I was right.

I was surprised to see this place with such an old décor package. While it's not terrible, it does feel a little dated. The murals up on the walls have been added to other Saker ShopRites in recent years to add more visual appeal.

Impressive fresh food options for a ShopRite.

Funny thing here... the ShopRite had exactly the same amount of customers in the Bakery as the Acme... zero. I was expecting to see a much bigger crowd here after seeing how full the parking lot was. The place is huge. Nearly 80,0000 square feet.


A&P South Plainfield, NJ
The A&P finished out it's run with the latest exterior signage. 

I'm so confused by this. Apparenlty A&P reopened their abandoned store as a Pathmark Sav-a-center.  It didn't last very long. But how is it that the would be allowed to open another company owned store right across the street? The FTC always makes these chains sell off stores when there is overlap after an acquisition. 

Former A&P Futurestore/Pathmark Sav A Center South Plainfield, NJ
Another photo from Dan Asnis' photostream showing the former A&P Futurestore/Pathmark.

Acme's new South Plainfield store is just short distance from their former location which closed in the early 2000's.

The former Acme is now Aldi.

Location: 1620 Park Ave, South Plainfield, NJ

For additional coverage of this location, please click here.


A&P looking like it was doing big business in 2012!




A&P was originally located in the strip mall in front of the spot were the replacement Futurestore model was built.