The Abescon Acme closed on February 21, 2008. Not quite a crash and burn situation... but close. It lasted a little over 8 years. The location began as a Super Fresh which had an even shorter run... opening around 1995 and closing in early 1999. Why did these stores struggle at this location? You guessed it... ShopRite.
This post unfortunately relies completely on satellite images. It's not my favorite way to present an Acme on the blog and it is done only as a last resort. What makes this one even more painful is that a valued Acme Style contributor took pictures of the abandoned store, as well as some interior shots, and sent them in many months ago. I lost the pictures. Apparently did not file them and have no email records since I downloaded the photos from a link. The person who sent them does not have backups... so we're outta luck. The satellite images do the store justice and the story here is too interesting to let go unreported.
The Absecon Acme opened in the fall off 1999 and was the very first new store to open after the merger of American Stores and Albertsons. This location was billed as a "Superstore" although it clocked in at only 45,000 square feet. A much smaller size than Acme built throughout the 90's. It did offer a Sushi department, Coffee bar and... a reading center! At the time of this store's opening, Acme was 165 stores strong. As of today, 42 of those stores are no longer.
Acme left the Super Fresh facade intact, which would be easier to see if that tree wasn't blocking the view. This was the clearest shot I could get from Google Maps. I believe it's been established on the blog that the Marlboro store was built as an A&P but Acme wound up opening at the location. If you click here you can see how the two facades are virtually identical.
"Marketplace of Absecon". Acme's sign covered in red.
This just in...
Pictures of the Acme in it's final days...
"Sav-on" and "Drug" signage already removed.
In it's final days the Acme had become the "CME". The red cover for the letter A... gone.
The Acme has recently been subdivided into 3 separate stores including a liquor store and Dollar Tree. As of November 2009, the third space had not been leased.
The StopRite literally next door. As you can see here, this store appears to be have been made up of a hodgepodge of buildings over the years. The historic aerials shots of this property have me pretty confused. Very early images show what appears to be some kind of store. Was it a grocery store? Was it always a ShopRite? I can't tell for sure. We'll look take a look at the old aerial shots below.
You can see above how close the the two stores were to each other.
We'll start in 1957 and work toward the present. This image seems to show the original "ShopRite" building on the property. No indication of what it could be.
1963 and the building has more than doubled in size. Definitely looking like a store at this point. Was it a ShopRite way back then?
Very busy store back in 1970.
Looks as though the Super Fresh has just been built. The strip mall is still under construction. If you click the link you can also check out the state of the ShopRite. Still the same size as the 1970 image, yet not a car in the parking lot. Perhaps ShopRite has yet to move in.
Here you can see Absecon's relation to Atlantic City. Brigantine, which is north of Atlantic city, is home to an Acme which we're not going to get to on this tour of the shore. It's one of the newer stores in the chain but like Absecon, Acme took over after another chain left.