Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Former Acme – Blackwood, New Jersey

Location: 109 North Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ

Time now for one of the most regal re-purposing of a former Acme! Completely unrecognizable today, unless you take a peek around back. This location opened on May 22, 1957 and closed in 1973 when the Acme relocated to a Clover Market up the street. This former Acme is now home to Palace Catering. Experience the royalty by clicking here.

This front section is an addition to the building. You'll be able to see the division between old and new in the areal images. The former Acme's transformation into The Palace happened sometime in the early to mid 2000's. Prior to that, the building retained it's original form. Not sure what other purposes it has served over the years.

No way to get around back for some pictures. At least not easily or without being noticed.


Here you can clearly see the addition that was made the front. The building was essentially expanded out the to the edge of the original awning both in front and along the side.

Not looking so regal around back. You can see Acme's second floor windows at the right hand corner.





In the Acme days, the parking lot had angled spots with the parking lanes running parallel to Black Horse Pike.



The Acme is brand new in this image!


Advertisement courtesy of JSF0864's flickr collection

On June 6, 1973, the Blackwood Acme opened in the former Clover Market just up the street.

Location: 841 N Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ

Aerial views only of this former Acme. I didn't bother stopping by since I wasn't sure I could even get into the property. The parking lot is now filled with self-storage units. The large building to the right was originally Clover, a great store that I still miss to this day! The Acme was located on the left side...

The Clover Market lasted about 2 years before Acme took over the spot.




Clover is still open as of 1995. The company would go under the next year. Not sure how long Acme remained in this location. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Grand Reopening of Chestertown Acme!

Location: 711 Washington Ave, Chestertown, MD 

The Chestertown store held its grand reopening celebration on Friday, March 13th with little to no fanfare. I was aware the opening was due to happen soon and had been keeping an eye on Acme's Facebook page for an announcement. It never came. To this day, there isn't a peep about the opening on their Facebook page. (Acme has now posted an announcement on their Facebook page! It is included at the bottom of this post.)  In fact, there is hardly an article to find online about the event. Acme didn't even bother taking a picture of the store. The one you see above was tweeted by Dorian Mitchell. Acme retweeted it on their feed. The only official pictures are the ones seen below which don't show much of anything. We do get a look at Acme's new president although his head got cut off when I embedded the tweet in this post. 

I am planning a visit to this store soon for full coverage. For now we can see the store prior to the recent expansion and remodel down below.

Photos are courtesy of storewander's flickr collection 

The Chesterton store opened April 5, 1967 as a pitched-roof store. It has since been expanded and remodeled although the most recent renovation was its most extensive yet.


The floor seen in this photo indicates that a previous decor package was the Checkerboard Arches. Not a picture to be found online on what the store looks like inside now. I'll keep searching to see if any show up. Thanks to Shawn for sending in the info about the grand opening!

ACME Markets has left a comment on this post! The planned announcement on their Facebook page did not upload properly when it should have. It is there now and embedded below for your enjoyment. Be sure to scroll through all of the photos. We don't get much of a look at the store but there are some very nice display and product shots. You can get a glimpse of the new aisle markers in the picture of the exterior of the store. Thanks to ACME for the update!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Acme – Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Location: 3951 Lincoln Hwy East, Downingtown, PA

Thought it was high time for a visit to another Industrial Circus Acme. Dug through the vault and discoverd the Downingtown store which I photogrpahed a little over a year ago. When I realized we haven't seen an I.C. store in quite a while, I got to thinking... why did some stores get the extremely colorful and graphic deocr package while others received the bland, and personality-deficient,
Allbertsons Marketplace remodel. Figured there must have been some factors that contributed to the choice of one decor package beind used over the over, aside from just cost. Speaking of the cost, the bill had to be much higher for the I.C. package since it had more elaborate signage, an abundance of wall decor and special lighthing not used in the Alberstons Marketplace decor remodels.

When I arrived at Downingtown, I was quite surprised to see the Industrail Circus decor as other stores in the area, like Exton and Westtown, had the Alberstons Marketplace remodel. After giving it some thought I believe I may have cracked the code. The 80's Superstores, like the one here in Downingtown, got the Industrail Circus package because they still had the 80's Remodel checkerboard floor by the 2000's. American Stores left the 80's flooring in place for these stores when they gave them the 90's Red/White/Blue remodel. (I do have some photographic evidence of this but unfortunatley not the permission to share it) 90's stores with the Red/White/Blue decor package received the Alberstons Marketplace decor since it was a decent match to the exisiting flooring. For the most part, that remodel did not come with a new floor. An exception to this rule is the former Westtown Acme. That store kept its 80´s checkerboard floor with the Alberstons Marketplace remodel. Another store that doesn't completely follow this rule is Phoenixville where the store retained most of the 80's flooring even though it had the Industiral Circus remodel.

A distinguishing feature of the 80's Superstores was the vestibule which was located at the center of the building. It had a somewhat designated entrance and exit inside... the entrance leads to the Produce side while the exit is near the checkouts. The layout of the departments is virtually identical to that of the 90's Superstores which have been covered extensively on the blog. One big difference is the 80's Superstores did not have a second story at the front of the building. You'll even notice here that the ceiling height throughout the store is relatively low.

I am currently working on a post that will feature a comprehensive direcorty of the 80's Superstores. It will be coming to the blog soon,

We'll enter on this side, just under the lablescar of the Starbucks/Seatle's Best (if the switch was in fact made here) sign.

I'm assuming things haven't changed much here in the past year but you never know. Acme is making adjustments in many of their stores these days. Most noticeably the removal of the shelf-checkouts. Unfortunately full remodels are few and far between.

An interesting feature with the entrance being located so close to the center of the store is a spacious Produce department. The 80's Superstores didn't have so much of a designated alcove like the 90's Supersstores. Also, no windows along the back and no arched ceilings. Just a big ol' plain room that sort of blends into the rest of the store.

Produce has the same ceiling height as the front-end of the store. Notice too, no secod floor at the front of the store.

The Salad Bar is now located in the Fruit Bar's former spot.

Strange there's no Salad Bar signage. You would hardly notice it back there.

The Industrial Circus flooring is pleasantly neutral throughout much of the store. It does get more colorful in the service departments (as you can see in the Bakery below) and the frozen food aisles. 

Downingtown has the more deluxe version of the I.C. package with the 3D signs, tiled walls and corrogated steal rain catchers for lack of a better word.

Meat and Seafood service department is just beyond the Bakery rather than along the back wall with the Deli.

The Meat sign got a bit of a trimming. We've seen this before in low ceiling stores. Probably was too low and took some hits from the meat racks rolling by.

The Deli sits alone along at the back of the store. This is generally the case for the 80's Superstores.

The raised ceiling over the grocery aisles also began with the 80's Superstores.

Take note of "ACME" along the front wall. It is very far removed from the "Thank you for shopping" signage which we will see later.

3 sided aisle makers! The 2 sided version is more commonly seen in stores...

I believe Morris Plains is the only other store on the blog where we've seen the 3 sided aisle markers for this decor package although I know it does exist in other stores.

Floral now located in the aisles. Pretty sure it was moved from the front wall for the Industrial Cirus remodel.

The center aisle was introduced in the 80's Superstores and carried on in the 90's stores.

The decals are pealing off of the Dairy sign.

The balloon filled front-end!

Here we see the "Thank you for shopping" with no "ACME" in sight.

First time I ever saw this signage at Acme!


Interesting the all the stores in the center have had their roofs painted white except the Acme

There is a lot more competition in the area than when Acme first arrived. Giant opened just down the road in the early 2000's with a Wegmans now being just 10 minutes away. The same Wegmans along with another Giant recently spelled doom for the Exton Acme.

A look at how close the Giant is located. According the to historic aerials, it opened in 2002.



Downingtown looked to be doing some big business in 2002.

Construction of the Giant looks to be finishing up here.



The store all the way to the left was vacant and for rent when I was here.

Hoping Downington can remain successful in the wake of other nearby Acmes shutting down.