Thursday, May 14, 2009

Abandoned Acme! Berlin, NJ

Another abandoned Acme lies in ruins. Great interior shots down below.

The old red oval logo can still be seen even though it was painted over when the store closed.

This store was probably built in the early 80's. Earlier stores of this style had windows all the way over to that emergency exit which were later covered up with opaque panels to increase sales floor space.

Customer service/office area.

Guessing this is where the safe was. During the 80's remodels, the store safe was taken out of the office and placed in the open right next to the CSR stand. This new set-up replaced the old customer service counter. It was an extremely odd set-up that made obtaining customer service very difficult. The CSR area was modified years later usually by adding an express register that also served as the customer service counter. In this store it looks as though they rebuilt the customer service area at one point. Guessing here of course because I was never in the store when it was open. But I do know that the CSR stand concept of the 80's remodel was nothing short of a disaster.

Checkerboard floor courtesy of the 80's remodel. Blue and beige wall graphics courtesy of the 90's convenience store downgrade. Prior to Albertsons taking over Acme in 1999, the American Stores company rolled out this convenience store concept. It was sort of a reversal of the the 80's remodel... service departments that where added or upgraded in the 80's were removed in the 90's. Floral, service Seafood, salad bar, cheeses from around the world were taken out or significantly downsized to expand more basic grocery offerings. This convenience store "look" was based on the look of new Acmes that were being built in the mid 90's.

The new Deli sign appears to have been over the Meat Department and not the Deli.

The orange and brown panels are left over from the Colonial decor form when the store was first built. Higher meat cases were put in during the 80's remodel that covered up this area. It's cool to be able to see evidence of 3 different decor packages at once.

Couldn't get any shots of the Bakery area in the corner.

The new Acme logo can be seen under the Berlin Shopping Center sign.

Kmart is the only store still open along this strip. All other stores are abandoned and falling into serious disrepair.

I'm not familiar with the Berlin area. Did another shopping center open up nearby that killed this one or was did this one just die a long and slow death?


  1. There is another shopping center on the other side of town with a Shop Rite and Home Depot. Shop Rite now is the only supermarket in the area unless you count Murphy's markeplace on route 30 in nearby Acto.
    I don't think this Acme closed that long ago. I don't know the exact reason but it could have had to do with the bad condition of the strip plaza depending if most of the stores closed before the Acme did.

  2. This ACME closed around 3 years ago. I'm not sure why. Lately, the local fire department has been using it for drills.

    Rumor has it that the owner of the shopping center purposely let it run down, because he wanted to knock it down and build low-income housing instead. He just won a lawsuit that will allow him to do this. The KMart in the same shopping center and the stores right across from it will remain, but the ACME will be torn down. Click here for information about that if you're interested.

  3. Hi Acme Style, I'm Nintendo85 from Flickr. Just thought I would mention that I remember when this store was still open and also, my mom worked here in the late 1990s. I can tell you that the metal looking portion in the back was, in fact, where the deli was located. Since most of the employees in the store knew me and my family, I was allowed back there to make myself a soda with crushed ice. I recently went back here a few weeks ago and saw the old 60's ''fish'' Acme logo on the door handle. Did you notice that?

  4. This Acme replaced an older store that was later torn down. The former location is still an empty lot on the corner of Rt. 30 & Cross Keys Rd., located about a mile from the (now closed) new store.

  5. I used to work at kmart and remember shopping here with my mom as a child. Specifically recall the checkerboard floor. And by the dairy there were large metal floor grates.

  6. as far as that hole in the wall, it was indeed where the safe was. This was a remodel in the late 90's. it used to an area for seasonal with the office door hidden. On the other side of where the checkouts where is where the csr desk and safe used to be.

  7. I remember when all those stores were full. Laundromat, tailors, acme, kmart, scottos, dollar general, billards... it was always packed. I used to love going to acme with my mom as a little girl. I live right down the street from this deteriorating shopping center and it's so sad. Even Kmart is nothing like it used to be. Looking at these pictures I can remember the EXACT layout of the store. I wish someone would buy it out and re-open it!

  8. Kmart is now clksex. It sbut down in the fall of 2014.So sad it see it go now we bave to go to Clememton or Cberry Hill to shop at Kmart. I guess its chanve or owners greed.

  9. What killed the Berlin Acme is the same store that killed the Clementon Acme: Zallie's West Berlin ShopRite. I worked at that store in the 90s, and my family's been shopping there since it opened in 1987. Back when I worked there, we were told that our store did $1 million a day. Also, our store was busy more times than not. Didn't hurt that the shopping center we were in also has a high occupancy rate.