Former Acme #1
Location: 498 Beverly Rancocas Road, Willingboro NJ
Although it's hard to tell from the front view, this former Acme is a pitched-roof model. The staggered awning does offer a clue while the rest of the facade has had it's pitched-roof features disguised. Not sure if the windows were covered over while that Acme was still here or if that was done when the 99¢ Depot moved in. I would tend to think the Acme was responsible for covering over the windows during a remodel. These discount stores rarely do much work on buildings before moving in. Satellite images down below reveal the awning was white after the Acme closed.
Located in the Southern edge of town, this Acme opened in June 1969 and likely closed when the current Willingboro Acme opened in the center of town in the early 90's.
It is unusual to see a pitched-roof store with so many alterations but not having had an addition put onto the building.
Some sort of activity appeared to be going on inside. I would have investigated further if this whole area wasn't so creepy.
Massive parking lot here which is pretty common with these pitched-roof stores. Plenty of room to expand out of the right side. Generally pitched-roof stores were either left mostly untouched throughout their lifetime (see Brown Mills and Parkesburg) or received complete transformations into more modern looking stores (see Princeton Junction and Wilkes-Barre). This one kinda fell into the middle.
Former Acme #2...
Location: 4340 Burlington Pike, Willingboro NJ
The 2 photos above appear on Acme Style by way of flickr's new sharing options. (I believe they're new... haven't noticed them before). The photos are from Tom Asher's Photostream which you can view by clicking here. Tom has a retail and restaurant photo collection worth checking out. A couple of former Acmes included that are not yet covered on Acme Style. You can also click on the photos above to be taken to Tom's collection.
In the photos is the old Village Mall in Willingboro located on Burlington Pike near Levitt Parkway. The mall was anchored on the right end by Woolco which then became a Caldor and an Acme on the left end. I don't know the whole story here but I believe the enclosed portion of the Village Mall struggled pretty much from day one. The Acme closed in 1993 when the replacement store opened. Caldor closed when the chain went under in 1999. The mall was than transformed into the Grand Marketplace which you can see below in the satellite images...
Acme all the way to the left. I didn't visit this mall on my trip to Willingboro nearly a year ago. At the time I had suspected that there was a former Acme at this location but hadn't yet confirmed that. With a long lists of stops on that road trip, this stop was one that got cut from the list but the satellite photos will do the trick...
The mall through the years...
Current Willingboro Acme...
Location: 2091 Route 130 (at Levitt Parkway), Willingboro NJ
The current Willingboro Acme opened in December 1993. Like so many Acmes out there, it is suffering from competition of other chains like good ol' ShopRite. I believe there are two ShopRites close to this Acme as well as a Pathmark just across the street.
The 90's Red/White/Blue decor presented on Acme Style like never before. The only other location that I know of to still have this look is Morrisville NJ. I believe all other 90's stores have been remodeled.
Produce windows are still windows!
This first time I saw this decor package was back in the early 90's at the King of Prussia store. I had been out of the Acme loop for a few years and wasn't even aware that the company was building massive new stores. When I stumbled across the King of Prussia Acme (which happened by accident as I was headed to the shopping center for it's Tower Records), I went inside the Acme and was stunned by how huge and how different it was from every Acme I had seen until that point. Much busier too than any Acme I have ever been too. (King of Prussia currently has the "Industrial Circus" decor similar to the package at Bryn Mawr. It's headed for some challenging times as a Wegmans is being built down the road.)
Most stores have done away with all this additional signage that was rolled out in the early 2000's. It was designed to be paired up wit the the "Albertsons Marketplace" interiors but was put into Acmes of all shapes and sizes.
You'll recognize these aisle markers from smaller stores that get stuck with them when these big ones are remodeled. See Sharon Hill.
The hood lights are left over from the "Max Pac" department which featured warehouse style deals. Acme put these in when stores like Costco and BJ's started to take off. Rockaway even had one of it's aisles removed to make a giant double wide Max Pac section. It didn't last very long. The 90's stores generally had this section located back by Dairy.
Neon backlights out in Dairy.
The arch concept carried over from the 80's and early 90's remodels.
I still love this old look. Probably because Acme was still American Stores at the time.
Willingboro is a massive store with some very nice landscaping. Too bad business here isn't what it used to be.
In 2002, the mall behind the Acme underwent a huge transformation. In fact, I don't believe it's a mall anymore. I was tempted to include pictures but kinda have my hands full with grocery stores. As much as I love malls, I have to be careful to not keeping branching out to new topics on the blog. I would love to hear a little bit about the mall's history if someone would like to give the scoop in the comment section.
Pathmark is Acme's closet competitor. There are rumors that a Bottom Dollar will be opening soon close to the Acme. Does the Pathmark fill that entire building? Looks like Pathmark originated in the smaller section to the left and then expanded into the larger section to the right.