Friday, February 23, 2018

Acme – University Plaza, Newark, Delaware

Photos courtesy of Jacob V

Location:1 University Drive, Newark, Delaware 

Just when I think I've seen it all, along comes the University Plaza Acme in Delaware. I believe this is a one-of-a-kind location. Originally built sometime in the late 70's/early 80's as a classic 33M store.  It was then expanded in the late 80's and given an entirely new facade which I thought had only ever been used for newly built stores.

Things get even weirder on the inside. First off, there are remnants from no less than five décor packages. Stranger yet... the store maintained its classic 33M layout after being expanded in the 80's. I don't know of any other location that could be said for.  Not sure how things played out here but my guess is the store was expanded and remodeled before new store construction really took off in the late 80's. Acme must not have fully committed to the new layout that was being used in new stores like Dover and Hockessin and decided to stick with their tried-and-true layout here. Kinda messes with my mind looking around this place because I know of no other Acme like it.

We'll be enjoying photos provided by Jacob V along with additional embedded photos from catnapped retail central.

The checkerboard floors from the 80's remodel remain in place. Some mixing of the colors which we have also seen in Cape May.

Customer Service in the front corner! Virtually in the same spot it would have been in before the late 80's expansion and remodel. Not sure why there's a black strip of tiles along the floor.

We've got some aisle Premium Fresh and Healthy aisle markers... at this side of the store. Hold tight for a mismatched batch on the other side. Odd line up of displays running along the first aisle and there's that black stipe of tile again.

The Deli and Seafood are swapped compared to the standard 33M layout. Notice the keystones left over from the 90's Red/White/Blue remodel above the Seafood sign.

The layout gets a little wonky here. A strange alcove in the Meat Department due to the expansion. Aisle 11 looks to be the start of the newer section of the store which extends further back than the original section.

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE
These frozen food cases date all the way back to the 80's.

Aisle markers left over from the Alberstons Marketplace remodel. Premium Fresh and Healthy category markers along the top shelves.

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE
Yet another strange twist... the Dairy has the Bakery flooring throughout rather than the light blue tiles used in all other 80's remodels.

Fresh Bakery in the front corner! Once the standard placement for the department but completely done away with once the 33M layout was retired in the mid 80's.

Qualty Built checkout lights! Just to add one more element from yet another décor package. I believe this store is officially the most hodge podged store ever seen on the blog.

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE
The front all of windows is oped to the whole front-end.

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE
This area serves as an enclosed vestibule at most the stores with similar facades.

Acme Markets: University Plaza-Newark, DE


You can clearly see here the expansion that happened to the right side of the store. You can also see where the mansard roof was located on the original store, now disguised by the updated facade.






Thanks to Jacob and catnapped for their photos of this most unusual Acme! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Acme – Jefferson, New Jersey

Location: 5734 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, NJ
Opened as Acme on November 1, 2015

Yep, the facade gets us off to a bad start. Once again, Acme couldn't spring for enough paint to make the name change look less obvious. It's been a problem at other locations as well. The interior hasn't gotten much love either but that's not to say this isn't a very nice store. And a very busy store as well!


A&P built this store around 2002 as a replacement to a smaller store that was located in the shopping center next door. We'll have a closer look at the history to the two stores down below.

Updated Pharmacy signage.

The exterior is in great shape and makes the store look like it was built far more recently than it was.

First round of A&P's fresh remodel which probably went in just a few years after the store opened. Not sure of the original décor package but I would guess it was similar to the one seen at the abandoned Bristol Superfresh. A&P was using that décor package in remodels in the very early 2000's. An interesting look for sure particularly the font choice which would make more sense in a  house of horrors.

This place is begging for a Starbucks! There aren't any in the area and there is plenty of room to add one.

Calandra's bread! An A&P staple which Acme ditched allwhile hanging up their "We Love Local" sign.  Tons of complaints on yelp about Acme ditching the local bakery's bread. Looks like they're bringing it back! At least at this location. I haven't seen Calandra's bread return to the stores I shop in.

As usual, you'll be seeing mostly shopper-free photos but this was one of the busiest converted stores I've been in yet!

Groceries in the first aisles with Health and Beauty in aisle two...

Only a handful of aisles have lighting directly above the shelving.

Immaculately clean and bright throughout! I wasn't picturing this store being so well run. It's kinda out in the middle of nowhere. But then again, it's a situation Acme thrives in.... decent amount of population in the area without enough for another competitor willing to set up shop. The Jefferson Acme will be impacted by the 80,000 square foot ShopRite being built in Sparta. But then again, that store is being built in the middle of nowhere as well and it will be a 25 minute drive from Jefferson. For more details on the new Sparta ShopRite, please click here.

Ice cream cases along the front.

There are some odd aisle configurations here. Not sure why Acme is insisting on eliminating shelf space as much as they are in these converted stores. Reviews on yelp often complain about the reduced selection in these stores. Nothing but wasted space in this aisle.

The only upgrade here from the A&P days are new checkouts. A&P's old checkout lights remain.

7 checkouts open with lines at each.


Location: 5716 Berkshire Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, NJ

Built in the mid to late 60's as a Centennial store and remained that way until at least 1987. It was expanded and renovated by 1997 and hasn't changed much since.




Still under construction in 2002.