Thursday, April 1, 2010

Former Acme – East Rutherford, New Jersey



Image courtesy of Rob Ascough

Located at 570 Paterson Avenue in East Rutherford New Jersey. Closed in September of 2000. Now a CVS...

Acme may have left the scene due to a planned Grand Union that was to be built down the street. Not sure if the Grand Union ever opened due to the company going under in 2001. The store is now a Super Stop and Shop which we will take a closer look at down below.








Acme loading docks still intact. From the back of the store, it looks like Acme never left...

You can see the exterior refrigeration cases that were probably put in during the 80's remodel.







Image courtesy of Rob Ascough

The parking lot sign seen in Rob's photo above.



I wonder if Acme ever made any attempts to expand into the other stores like they tried to do in Secaucus.




A&P was located practically across the street from the Acme. Now a dreadful Food Basics... A&P's discount banner which may have been retired. One can only hope anyway.

Here you can see the close proximity of the two stores.

The former/almost Grand Union just a few blocks down the street from the former Acme. I am including pictures here as the interior is Grand Union's last decor package before going under. Stop and Shop made very few alterations to the inside prior to taking over.


I have to say... Grand Unions last attempt at interior design was quite classy. Very impressive murals on the walls above the various departments. Alot of attention to details throughout the store.

The Pharmacy with lots of exposed faux brick... giving it a look of a store within a store.

Dark and blurry I know... wish I could have gotten a better shot. Look closely there at the Pharmacy sign/arrow. It has light bulbs all around it but they weren't on. Very old fashioned looking. Outstanding design. It was more easily seen in the Produce department on the other side of the wall there. 4 employees stocking shelves over there kept me from getting better pictures.

Full service Seafood now just frozen cases... a change that is happening in many grocery chains these days. Great mural, right?

Some Stop and Shop touches there on the meat signage.




Crazy waves above the frozen food cases. Made for a very nice effect. Unfortunately the store is a little on the dark side. I think the decor would be even more stunning if the lighting was better. The front end is all Stop and Shop. They pulled out all of the Grand Union retro-styled register stands and lights... which should have brought criminal charges as far as I'm concerned. Grand Union blew through cash in it's final years trying to upgrade stores. Their efforts are very commendable but unfortunately the remodels didn't bring enough business to save the chain.

Could have been Acme? They did have a chance to acquire some Grand Unions when the chain went under. They took only one...
Mt. Freedom which hadn't even been built yet.

45 comments:

  1. Hi,Did Acme ever atempt to expand into other stores in a strip mall.yes indeed at Chestertown mdand at Pike Creek Delaware to name two.Pike Creekis one of the chains best!

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  2. That is a REALLY odd Stop & Shop. I guess it was too nice to simply just convert it to their bland decor of the time.

    As an aside, the decor in S&S's 2002-2008 stores is nice and I have no idea why they didn't just slightly alter it when they changed their logo. Their 2008-present decor is pretty ugly, and so is their conversions from when they converted their stores from Edwards and bought several GU and Foodtown stores on LI.

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  3. It looks as if the liquor store was relocated as part of the site's conversion to a CVS. In the Acme days, it was located on the end unit but is now on the opposite side of CVS- I guess so the CVS could be the end unit and feature a drive-thru pharmacy?

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  4. srddave@hotmail.comApril 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Wow! These interior pics of the last new Grand Union are great! I remember bring very impressed by the new decor. This location was actually a Grand-Union Warehouse for many, many years before they closed it and planned for the new store. When it opened, the store had a "GU" logo in a circle (white overlapping letters in a Times-New Roman font on a green background) on the front as well as the traditional Grand Union logo. This logo was also added to the facade of the Clifton store when it was remodeled. The register receipts said "Mega GU" and later, "Grand Union Megastore". Also--Food Basics is still an A&P division and is their fastest-growing division.

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  5. It saddens me that Acme gave up/ is giving up in North Jersey, store by store. its a slow painful death. and again this particular Acme had an opportunity to grow in square footage. it's a shame.

    Nice Grand Union.so the Grand Union store was probably one of the "Mega Save" formats originally. GU wanted to test new formats. According to old isssues of Supermarket News I had read around 1998, the "Mega Save" was supposed to be similar to
    Supervalu's Cub Foods stores (which are a warehouse format food store))

    and
    srddave@hotmail.com: Food Basics is very much alive and well but I agree 100% with AcmeStyle. it is a dreadful format and says something about that iconic chain, once 15,000 strong now a fading shadow of itself fighting for survival.

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  6. Thanks srddave for the info on the Grand Union! I had no idea about the history. Also never heard of the "Mega Save" concept.

    I thought A&P might be scaling back plans for Food Basics now that Pathmark has become their "price impact" banner. There is, however, a big difference between the two... Food Basics is seriously cheap with minimal selection while Pathmark is more of a regular grocery store pretending to be a discount store. Not sure how A&P is going to get all of these concepts to work especially with both Food Basics and Pathmark now carrying all of the America's Choice products.

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  7. A&P's last stand seems to be Long Island and NYC.

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  8. They still have a strong presence in North Jersey and judging by the remodels they're doing, have no intentions of giving up on that market.

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  9. Grand union is still opend it is called grand union family markets and has 31 stores 1 in pensalvina 6in virginia 21 in new york state and a few more in new england the nearest one to me is in milford pa has grand unions wood paneling from the 80s 100 percent intact with red dot logo signs evereywhare does decent sales

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  10. Grand Union is officially dead and gone. Grand Union Family Markets is an entirely different chain run by C&S Wholesale Grocers. The stores still look exactly like the old Grand Unions because C&S has done absolutely nothing to them since taking over. C&S was the original Grand Unions main supplier and bought out the company when it went under in 2001. C&S had to sell off most of the stores since they were not in the business of managing a huge supermarket chain.

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  11. The Milford PA Grand Union closed recently. It will reopen soon as a Grand Union/Milford Farms grocery. It will be privately owned but still supplied by C&S. Google Maps has a nice photo of the old store at 547 West Harford Street, Milford, PA

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  12. Are they changing the interior? I was trying to get to that store and photograph it since it still had the old Grand Union look to it.

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  13. Look to see more Food Basics conversions of former Pathmark locations. The newer Food Basics are quite pleasant to shop. But Great A&P really needs to get behind about two dozen grand openings of Food Basics locations in New Jersey and farther south into Maryland. Uncharted territory for Food Basics, but these stores are far better than Food Lion's Bottom Dollar.

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  14. Acme in East Rutherford was offered all of the space in the Shopping Center and turned it down.

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  15. Let's not forget, though, that the remainder of the space in the shopping center was destroyed by a massive fire about a decade and a half ago- the Mandee, if it went in there because Acme turned down the space, was formerly in the A&P/Genovese-Eckerd strip across the street.

    AcmeStyle, GU and GU Family Markets are not separated- they're still one and the same, the only difference is that C&S decided not to keep business in the metro NY market.

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  16. Well the other difference is that C&S owns Grand Union/Grand Union Family Markets. Prior to the chain's bankruptcy, C&S was strictly their supplier. Regardless of all those details... the Grand Union of the 80's and 90's is gone. I've been in plenty of GU Family Markets and in my opinion they are no Grand Union.

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  17. Gone, yet not forgotten...I used to work in one of the three Clifton Grand Unions (the one that became Stop & Shop...I'm still there), and after the switch to S&S was made so many were upset.

    It always seemed to me that GU was popular- if only management wasn't so terrible.

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  18. A&P just went bankrupt. I wonder if the Food Basics across the street from the former Acme will close now.

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  19. I heard many stories of Acme being offered massive amounts of retail space in strip malls where they operated stores. There was a time the Jersey City store could have been expanded into what was once an adjacent Ride Aid (which moved to a new building across the street) and the McCrory space next to that. I remember hearing that this store used to do a crazy amount of business, but maybe that was true of many Acmes during the company's glory days?

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  20. Just a quick update on the Carlstadt Stop & Shop...they just completed a rather massive overhaul of the interior and took out all of the remaining Grand Union stuff that was left. Basically it now looks like any other Super Stop & Shop does- at least, ones that got that treatment. Some just got the signs replaced and not much else was done to the store (I was in the Ridgewood Stop & Shop- which I think was built on the site of a former GU store that converted, don't remember- tonight and noticed that they finally got around to replacing the signs and added ScanIt to the store, but the interior is still the same as it was when the store was originally built).

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  21. Sorry to hear the news. The Grand Union decor was light years better than what Stop and Shop is currently putting in their stores.

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  22. I don't understand why we do that (remember, I'm an S&S employee) to certain stores but not to others. The old Clifton store that was once Grand Union was, for the most part, left untouched decor wise. It was still the same Grand Union decor that was there from whenever they did the last remodel of the store (they did at least 3 or 4 in a span of about 7 years) until the store finally bit the dust in January of '09.

    FTR, I was surprised when I saw that the East Rutherford Acme had closed (I don't believe that the Grand Union/S&S was open yet when it went out). Like Rob, I had heard of the store always being busy- maybe the Wallington side of the street didn't do so well, as a lot of those smaller A&P stores I've heard had that problem back in the late '90s.

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  23. Acording To foodbasicsusa.com this location has been closed.

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    Replies
    1. This location is still open it is just on the wallington side of the street.
      So if you were looking for East Rutherford food basics you wont find anything!

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  24. Stop & shop really should have stuck with the old logo just have given it a new touch such as changing the color font or something else
    The old early 80s logo which you can view on youtube was by far the best!

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  25. There is a rumor tha the Passaic Shoprite is moving to the old A&P/Food Basics space in Wallington.

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    1. I live a block from where Basics was. I've heard the same thing regarding the ShopRite from a few sources, but it's been a very long time now and still no ShopRite. Are you talking about the 8th St. or Paulison Ave. ShopRite? Also, the bank building that was built in the middle of the parking lot when Basics left is now being demolished. The building was never occupied. More than half of the stores in the mall are empty. It is a blight to the area.

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    2. Acme Style, I really enjoyed your blog. I found it because I was searching images on Google for East Rutherford, which is where I grew up. I had a good time reading your comments and the subsequent quotes. It brought back many memories from years ago. Great photos too! Thank you!

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    3. You're welcome, SeltzerGal! Your experience with Acme Style is the exact reason why I started the blog. Thanks for your comments!

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  26. You should cover the Paramus Stop & Shop (Route 17)as a bonus store as it is one of the last I know still with an old Grand Union setup. They did move the produce back slightly to fit in a liquor department in the front right corner of the store. It still supports the old S&S logo (red awning) in front which was recently fixed but the "Stop" letters are now bigger then the "Shop" letters. Overall the building is in poor shape and I'm shocked S&S hasn't replaced this store yet. It's located next to a unique K-Mart which looks similar to the old ShopRite that was next to the Bergen Mall which was covered in the blog. The Waldwick S&S is also a unique store as it is the smallest store I think S&S still operates (even with the mega store they built a few miles away in Wyckoff). And speaking of Wyckoff the old A&P Future store is still standing but is expected to come down and replaced by a massive ShopRite. And these locations are all a short distance away from the former pitched roof Acme in Ridgewood that now houses the Whole Foods Market. Lot's of interesting things up here in Bergen County when it comes to supermarkets.

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    1. Thank you for your suggestions! Believe it or not… I have both the Stop and Shop and the Kmart photographed. I was up there a few years ago. Unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out as good as I was hoping so I never posted them. I take a look at them again and see how they are. I may head back there for a reshoot. I love both of those stores. I've been wanting to visit the old Wyckoff A&P for years now but haven't made it there yet.

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  27. Grand Union is officially gone.It's remnants were absorbed by Tops Friendly Markets.

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  28. I live in East Rutherford. Here's a few updates on these stores:
    1. Food Basics was closed around 2012, and was demolished this August. They recently put up a larger building in it's place, which will be a ShopRite and replace the old ShopRite a few miles away in Passaic. The ShopRite in Passaic will be replaced by a Price-Right.
    2. Sadly, Stop&Shop was remodeled in 2010, along with the rest of the plaza. They added the new logo and removed all the Grand Union decor, replacing it with the most boring decor ever. The pharmacy was moved across the store and now resides between the checkouts and the frozen foods. The old pharmacy was replaced with an aisle for the S&S health brand, Nature's Promise.

    As a request, could you please do a post about the old ShopRite and revisit these stores when the new ShopRite opens? I'd be very grateful if you did. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Which ShopRite in Passaic are you referring to? The two I'm finding both look relatively new.

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    2. The 8th street location. Although it has new exterior signage, it still has some old decor inside. In fact, they haven't changed the interior in years. It looks similar to the old Greater Milford store, but the signage is in capital letters and a different font.
      Also, FoodBasics/A&P was originally a Stop & Shop from the early 70's until 1982.
      One more thing... There's another ShopRite in Passaic? I only know the 8th street store.
      Thanks for replying! Bye!

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  29. The Shop-Rite on 8th St. is the one that is closing.

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  30. I won't be able to cover that store. It's far too new to qualify for the blog and it just doesn't have any ties to Acme.

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    1. You know what? I was wrong about the ShopRite being from the 80's or 70's. In fact, according to historicariels.com the store opened sometime between 1987 and 1990. Odd, because the decor looked A LOT older. But then again, it was a pretty big store to be from the 80's. But there IS an interesting former ShopRite in Rutherford, NJ. Opened in the 60's, closed around 2006. Now divided between Family Dollar (opened in 2010) and Dunkin' Donuts (opening soon). A small portion of the store is still abandoned. If you like, take a look, and see if it's bonus-store worthy.

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    2. I was looking at the street view on Google. Is the Dunkin' Donuts going on the opposite from Family Dollar? That would seem to make the most sense. Looks like the abandoned portion is where the exit doors for the ShopRite were. Probably not enough interesting things to see there for a Bonus Store unless you could see in those doors and get some pictures of the inside.

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  31. I was born and raised in East Rutherford and have fond memories of shopping with my Father at the Acme on Paterson Ave. It was sad to see it close. I love your blog and always look forward to new posts.

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  32. I live in ER. Quite a lot has changed in the past 5 years. As mentioned by previous commenters, the Food Basics closed, around 2012. I happen to have a photo of the abandoned interior, snapped about a year ago. The store was demolished, and ShopRite is building a new store on the site, which will open on May 20. I photographed the work-in-progress. The sign from A&P is still up, painted black. Google Earth street view shows the store still open. It still had the bones of the A&P, including the office next to the registers, 2nd floor bathroom and breakroom, and even the magic carpet doors. As for Stop&Shop, the old GU decor was retired for the fruit bowl decor in late 2010/early 2011. For some reason, the pharmacy was moved completely across the sales floor, next to frozen food. Acme is still the same, aside from the fact that the Mandee next door has closed. Oddly enough, I ventured around back to find a few shopping carts, from PathMark, Stop&Shop, and another store (maybe Acme!) next to the freezer room on the docks. If you like, I'll email you my photos. I haven't snapped any photos of the remodeled S&S, though.

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  33. I ran across a Foodtown the other day in Parsippany which was converted from a Grand Union and the store still has the last Grand Union decor package, similar to this store. I mean, this store was no Mega GU, but it still has some of the cool murals and corrugated plastic and aluminum...and a very impressive meat and fish thing, similar to what this GU had. It's not in the best of shape, but it's a little community store which seems to do OK. I got a few pics, but it was difficult. I'll try to get more since I am working in that area over the next few months.

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    1. Wow! I would love to see some pictures of the place.

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    2. And there's a former Acme right across the street! Might have to make a trip there myself.

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