Saturday, April 3, 2010

Industrial Circus

While the "Chalkboard Market" decor brought a bit of class and sophistication to Acme, the "Industrial Circus" brought back some much needed fun! Bold colors and even bolder wall graphics were the main ingredients to this look... a favorite here at Acme Style. I think this look captures the personality of Acme much better than the last few rounds of decor. To me this look is on par with the "Checkerboard Arches".

Once again, I'm not too sure about the time line here. This look did originate with Albertsons and it was used in alot of remodels in the early 2000's and possibly as far back as the late 90's. I don't think there were any stores built with this look. From what I can tell Acme was on to a whole new look when they started building new and replacement stores in the early to mid 2000's.

Sometimes Produce. Sometimes Farmstand. Farmstand would win out in later decor packages.

Big departure for Acme here with the rich bold colors on the walls and an almost overload of graphic accents.

The Princeton Junction store received a scaled back version of the decor (pardon the pole). Their department signage wasn't as big and fancy compared to other stores... yet still a great looking store. And props to the employees of Princeton Junction for keeping their store in tip top shape all the way to the end.

My favorite part of this decor is the faux corrugated steel. It was used in the department signage and aisle markers. "Lancaster Brand" got hit with a shrink ray but at least it's still there!

Check out the tiles on the Deli Department walls. So much color and bold signage it's kinda hard for the merchandise to get any attention. Cases and light fixtures all went black in these stores.

Two different stores here both with the deluxe versions. Yep, those are floor tiles on the walls. I love the columns with the black and white tops... very unusual.

Take note of those green lights on the wall... they reappear in a later decor that will be featured in an upcoming post. That decor makes the circus look... a little boring.

There were several aisle marker designs for this decor package. The one here made into most stores. Sort of limiting with only four categories hanging from each sign.

Pretty dramatic signage hanging over Frozen Foods. The over-the-top graphic nature of this decor is looking a little dated now. These days the trend is sleak and minimal favoring all lower case letters for logos and signage. Acme makes that very switch in their latest decor package to be seen here soon!

This is the Norristown store. Formally a Super G which explains the strange layout. Very nice interior. (I was never a fan of Super G and was glad to see them go.)

So far... the is the most seen decor in all of the older stores I have been in. It's definetly a favorite of mine. I think this decor fits Acme's personality perfectly. A personality that they have tried to change over the years which has done nothing but chase customers away. Back in the 70's and 80's, Acme was your-wacky-store for groceries. They carried unusual merchandise and had the most crazy %off sales each week that had people flocking to their stores. Now all they seem to have is 10 for $10... which just about every other grocery store has as well. Acme needs to do something... anything... to separate itself from the crowd. If nothing else... I think this decor helps to do the job!


  1. Is this the decor that includes the giant dairy barn over the milk and the huge pile of snacks hanging from the ceiling over the snack aisle?

  2. Nope. The decor you are referring to is "Acme Theme Park". Check back in a couple of days for that one.

  3. The wackiest sale that I remember was the 10 cent sales of the 90s. They would bring in massive amounts of red delicious apples, navel oranges, garlic, carnations and baking potatoes and sell them for 10 cents a piece.

    The stores I worked at would have to double produce staff for those sales.

    Any idea when they stopped doing that?

  4. Wow, I remember those 10 cent sales. I used to work produce and the last time I can remember those sales must have been around the early 2000s. I could be wrong but my Acme memories are a little cloudy now. Also, I've been to an "Acme Theme Park" store in Milltown and the decor actually makes the store look like a lot of fun. Can't wait to see the post on it.

  5. When the Morris Plains store got this look, I hate it because I thought it looked childish and goofy. I was disappointed the store didn't get the Chalkboard Market look of the Rockaway store that was remodeled right before Morris Plains. The Morris Plains store had the same layout but it looked entirely different.

    This look- which I remember being referred to by a former manager as the Broadway package- didn't make it to any other northern NJ stores. Now that I've seen some southern NJ stores with a more deluxe version of this decor package, I'm starting to like it. The colors make the stores look bright and cheery, even though the individual parts (corrugated metal, circus-like columns, cartoony graphics) don't seem to make a hell of a lot of sense.

  6. Like I mentioned to you a few weeks ago, I was in the Acme in Mays Landing, NJ which had this look. I'm guessing it originally had the 90's Red/White/Blue look.

    I'm intrigued by the Acme Theme Park - I don't think I've ever seen that. Truth be told I've only been to about 6 or 7 Acmes in my lifetime...four of which are closed now.

  7. That decor is a take on Albertsons decor now. not many store left in Orlando but very albertsons. They have a ton of signage in their stores and each area is meant to stand out from the other

  8. The "Acme Theme Park" is what I'm assuming is the Yardville decor package, right? If so, I'm pretty sure the official name of it is "Grocery Palace".

    Only saw the version used at Harbison Avenue, which didn't get a deluxe version by any means. By the end of its tenure, letters were literally falling off the walls. (Meats lost the "M", and "Thank you for shopping Acme" lost half its lettering.)

    Also, at least at Harbison there were small plaques at Dairy explaining the store's commitment to fresh product. Unfortunately the name of the store was "Albertsons"...

  9. This is my favorite I believe. There is a variation of this. Everything is the same, except in stead of block lettering, they have script writing.

  10. That I need to see. Any idea what store you may have seen the script lettering in?

  11. I believe King of Prussia PA has the script style lettering. I could be wrong, but I believe that was the store I saw it in.

  12. Ah! I believe you are right! I have seen pictures of the inside of that store and remember the font that is used there. I used to shop in the store back in it's Red/White/Blue days. Haven't been back since the remodel.

  13. Acme in general in KOP has been re- modeled 3 times at that location that I know of. They were a replacement store for the KOP store in the 90's I believe which moved down the pike from the mall. If they did not open with the red white and blue in that location that means 4 re-models. They went from r.w.b. to the script style industrial circus all with the same colors and aisle markers as the pics above. Then in 2006 or 2007 I was in there and they had some minor changes made. They have made produce into an L shape and the new premium fresh and healthy aisle markers. It is actually a nice looking store.
    currently West Goshen PA is being remodeled to premium fresh and healthy from industrial circus. It appeared that they are removing most of the decor package for the new one. Next time I go there I will try and take some pics of the store in the middle of their re-model.

  14. Too bad about West Goshen... I think the current decor looks really good there. Some of the shots above are from the West Goshen store. Are the walls getting painted white like the original PFH decor or are they keeping some color in the store? It's also surprising to hear Acmes are still getting remodeled with the current state of the company. Maybe things aren't as bad as everyone says if there's money available to remodel a perfectly fine store like West Goshen.

  15. I checked out Goshen today. They are definitely keeping some color to the store but are mostly going to pfh. Many stores that are being re-modeled are keeping color now instead of the bland white pfh. Besides all the aisles being changed, the service counter was cut in half and now floral is there on the left as you walk in the rx side. Looks as if another aisle of frozen food was/is being added. Decor wise the store is a mess with a lot of holes in the walls being patched up. I will send you a few pics I took of the store in transition.

  16. Does anyone know if there was ever a tile pattern to go with the color-square pattern used throughout this decor package: see here. This comes from a closed store that I have a hunch was once an Albertsons.

    1. Yes! Those tiles were often used for the frozen food aisles at Acme.