Location: 1105 Route 130 North, Cinnaminson, NJ
Not your typical looking grocery store. This is Acme's third hugely successful location in Cinnamison since the 50's. (Not sure if there were others predating the 50's era store.) Acme set up shop here in the late 90's, retrofitting an abandoned mall into a most unique supermarket. The arrival of a brand new ShopRite two years ago proved to be a devastating blow as Acme has seen a majority of it's business disappear. Ironically, ShopRite built it's new store in the same shopping center where the two previous Acmes were located just two miles away.
The Cinnaminson store is one of the locations that sparked my interest in starting a historical Acme website many years ago. When searching the web back in the early 2000's for old Acme pictures and information (very little to be found in those days), the story of the Cinnaminson Mall... Acme's former home... came up quite often. It was difficult piecing together the information on what stores existed there and where exactly the Acme had relocated to. This, of course, was long before satellite images were available which would have instantly cleared up much of the confusion. Eventually I found photos of the old mall and news of it's planned redevelopment. Pictures of the Acme were still few and far between... until now. After years of trying to visualize this store and the evolution of the Cinnaminson Acme, I was able to finally pay it a visit back in June.
Acme left it's former home in the Cinnaminson Mall (now called "The Shoppes of Cinnaminson") and moved to what I believe was called the "Clover Mall". The Clover Department Store located there closed in the mid 90's and was replaced by Ames which abandoned the location a few years later when the chain went under. VF Outlet then opened in the building but has since closed as well leaving the Acme as the only major tennet. Plans underway to redevelop the shopping center although I was not able to find any specifics other than a Sonic being built in a portion of the parking lot.
Back in the mid to late 90's, Acme moved into the portion of the property that was origianlly an enclosed mall next to Clover. You can see the mall-like set up in the photo above. The doors to the rear were an entrance to the mall and now lead to the Acme. Other store fronts, many of which are abandoned, can be seen on either side of the main entrance as well as inside the entrance.
Cart corral prior to entering the Acme.
And in we go!
Looking out into the store from Produce. When touring the store, you can instantly see many leftovers from the original 90's Red/White/Blue decor package. Overall, very little decor was put into the store in favor of allowing the architecture to create the store's atmosphere. The 90's department signs have since been replaced with the "Albertsons Marketplace" signage. The hanging lights in Produce and over the checkouts have had they're red/white/blue theme painted over in beige.
The picture above as well as many of the interior shots below were sent in by an Acme Style fan. I had a tough time getting interior shots as employees far outnumbered shoppers the Saturday morning of my visit. I abandoned my mission when a Meat Department employee saw me taking pictures.
Check out the 90's clock and floor tile. The wood paneled walls are quite beautifull and reminded me of Grand Union's 80's remodel. The most striking aspect of this store is the exposed wood beam ceiling and the windows along the raised section of the roof (referred to as clerestory) which allows natural light to flood the interior of the store.
Looking out from the Bakery...
The "a la carte station" was added in as an upgrade to help compete with ShopRite. It has since closed with it's prep areas disassembled.
Small seating area here which is not as common in Acmes as in other chains like Giant and Wegmans.
Looking down the center aisle that splits all the grocery aisles. Still a common feature in large Acmes but rarely seen in other chains.
Seafood and Deli line the rear of the store.
"Premium Fresh and Healthy" aisle markers and category signs have been added.
Perhaps someone familiar with this location prior to it's Acme days can explain how the mall was set up. I would guess that the stores lined the permitter of the building with the center area below the clerestory section serving as a courtyard. You can see from the old satellite photos down below that there was parking and an entrance at the rear of the building. There is also another raised section with additional skylights in the back corner of the building.
The natural light in the building is definitely a nice change from fluorescent flooded stores.
Front end with the Pharmacy over to the right. 90's box lights still in place above the checkouts. Yep, hardly a soul here on a Saturday morning. I wound up leaving with a basket full of sale items which I was not expecting to find.
The Pharmacy side entrance and exit with an interesting water fountain in the corner...
Front window where employees look to have gotten a bit creative with the C and E. These windows do not look into the store and are remnants of the origianal mall stores.
Not sure how much work Acme put into the exterior, although the two arched areas were probably added on as they were common features in mid-90's styled Acmes.
Here you can see the clerestory that rises above the store. Skylights back in the right-hand corner appear to have been covered over. This is not the first mall that Acme has taken over, although it's certainly the most unique. Acme has also taken over a couple of former department stores.
Former mall parking to the rear now goes unused. The Acme does not have a rear entrance.
As I mentioned in a recent "News Break", HistoricAerials.com has revamped it's service. Clickable thumbnail images are no longer available to be embedded in websites. Beginning with this post, I have switched to posting plain old screen grabs from the site which include watermarks. Regardless, these images still provide a wealth of information regarding the evolution of Acme locations.
Acme's parking lot filled to near capacity in the early 2000's.
Back when the Clover Mall was still a mall.
ShopRite opened in January 2009. Below is an image from Google Maps showing the completed shopping center.
For a more detailed view of the new shopping center,visit The Shoppes of Cinnaminson.
Bing Maps still shows the shopping under constrcuction.
The 70's era Acme is still standing here to the to far left.
The 50's era store is in front.
The 50's era store is in front.
The old Cinnaminson Acme! This image comes from tomasher.net. My request for permission to post images from this site have gone unanswered. The site hasn't been updated since 2003 so it may be as dead as the malls that are pictured on it. Check it out for yourself... there are fascinating pictures of Caldor and the old Cinemas once located at the Cinnaminson Mall .
As of 1970, the Acme stands alone.
No Acme in 1957... and once again, no Acme as of March 2011.