Location: 616 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft NJ
Classic & present day photos courtesy of Rob Ascough
We're starting off this year's tour in a big way thanks to Rob and his classic pictures of the old Lincroft store. Opened in September 1960. Closed for business in 1999. But this one has a happy ending... a brand-new state-of-the-art Acme was built right next store. In fact (thanks to information provided by Rob), the new Lincroft store marked a resurgence of Acme into the north Jersey area which continued into the early 2000's. New stores were built in Mount Freedom and Clifton. Rockaway was given an extensive remodel. A replacement store was planned for Morris Plains but the plans eventually fell through leaving the existing store with a nice remodel. New stores opened in Milltown, Marlboro and Freehold. Shrewsberry was also remodeled extensively. The last few stores listed don't quite fall into what most people consider "North Jersey" but they do show Acme's desire to reestablish itself in the Northern half of the state where it once had numerous stores. Unfortunately the push back North wasn't long lived. Marlboro and Freehold both went bust. Once-mighty-Rockaway shut down under crushing competition from a new ShopRite. Milltown and Clifton have both seen their Pharmaciess close and have dealt with tough competition from other chains. Lincroft, however, appears to be going strong due in part to a lack of competition in the area. It also happens to be an exceptionally nice Acme. In fact, I would personally rank it as one of the nicest in the entire chain!
The new store can be seen in the left side of the photo. Before we head over, let's just discuss the old one for a moment. Interesting look to this store. Can't say I've seen this awning treatment before. The store looks to have missed out on the "Super Saver" styled awning (as seen on the Sparta store, which never was a Super Saver) and wound up with some other upgrade. With the red oval logo on the outside, it's a sure bet that the store had the 80's remodel on the inside. But then again, Clifton had this same exact sign outside with no 80's remodel inside. This store looks to be in the 20,000 square foot range from the aerial images.
Here we have the brand new store! One the last newly built stores under American Stores ownership. Albertsons would buy the company in mid 1999.
While being a huge improvement over the old store, the new building is not nearly as large as other Acmes built in the 90's. This was probably due to limitations of the property.
Pre-Sav-on signage days.
Rob captured a rare and fascinating site here.... two Acmes of two different eras side by side. Safe to say we won't be seeing anything like this anytime soon.
Tight fit between the old and the new. Rob reports that the 6 feet of the awning on the old store was removed to make room for the new building. (If you look closely you can see the haggard awning along the corner of the old store.)
Lincroft today! Looking better than ever with it's exterior "Premium Fresh and Healthy" upgrades. Signage has switched from red to white. Trim painted a greenish yellow color. And...
Apples. You gotta get yourself some red delicious apples! Rob sent these photos in last year. Having forgot exactly how the store looked in 1999, I thought the apples were placed over windows when in fact they were mounted to the brick walls. Gotta say... it's a nice touch.
Although we are seeing the PF&H upgrade on the exterior, the interior still has it's original decor package.
Let's check out the interior...
The super deluxe Chalkboard Market decor! Some of Rob's shots may look familiar as they were used in the Decor Directory. I recently visited Lincroft and have included some of my interior shots along with Rob's. You can easily tell the difference... Rob's are the good ones. My iPhone was not loving the lighting situation here.
Back in the day when I was trying to come up with names for the decor packages, all I could come up with for this one was "Chalkboard Market". Not great but it did the trick. Doesn't work so great for Lincroft since this store doesn't have the chalkboards seen in most others. This decor package was Acme's first foray into creating a "market" area with all the fresh offerings department located in the same section of the store. Smaller remodeled stores had this market area created as well but it was referred to as the "Grand Aisle". Bill Haines, who is a frequent commenter here on the blog, informed us that this decor package was developed to emulate a farmers market atmosphere. It was specifically developed for the new Jenkintown store and then was carried over to other new stores as well as remodels. The Jenkintown store moved from a pithced-roof building to a former Lord and Taylor store which had become a farmer's market, hence American Stores idea to keep the farmers market theme going. This would be American Stores last decor package. (Thanks to Bill for continually providing us fascinating stories of Acme's history!)
Lincroft is filled with props. These items are above the juice cases. I tried to capture some other displays but they did not photograph well as they are often in the shadows.
As absolutely fantastic as the interior is here, we do have one major FAIL to get out of the way before we proceed. Bakery. What on earth happened here? This is the very first department you see when you walk in the door. Happens to be one of the most impressive Bakeries I've seen in any Acme but what happened to the sign? Clearly it has been redone possibly due to the old letters falling off. Wouldn't be such a disaster if the letters were centered like they were originally and if a color similar to those used around the store was choose for the letters instead of bright orange! Did someone put this up and everyone else said "oh yeah, that looks good." Doubt it. Time for do over Lincroft.
Ok, now onto the awesomeness of this store...
Interesting configuration of of the Antipasto Bar and Salad Bar in the back corner...
Salad Bar still stocked on Sunday evening. All signs here point to a high-volume store, particularly in the summer months.
While the decor package is still original to the store, there have been PF&H upgrades done throughout. Did they go a little overboard with the category markers or what? Gotta say though, it's kinda cool in person. The aisles here are quite interesting. Shelving is very tall and the aisles are a bit narrow. The category markers make them feel even taller!
Very nice layout to the Meat Department. There's plenty of room on either side from general merchandise displays. To the left of the photo above is the patio furniture department.
PF&H drum pendant lights in frozen adding a spectacular effect. Impressively clean as well. These lights are notorious dust traps and are easily knocked off balance. Not at Lincroft. This is one well maintained and immaculately clean store. 12 years old now but still looks virtually brand new!
Nice crown molding around the pillars throughout the store. Gives a look that the original ceiling was torn out to raise the roof!
Dairy runs behind where Rob is standing. The Pharmacy is located along the Dairy wall in the front corner of the store. Check out how high those shelves are. Not the best store for short people.
Floral located in the very front of the store. There's an entrance to the left of the photo.
Huge greeting card selection.
Drum pendant lights have been added over the checkouts as well.
The old Acme was torn down and replaced with additional parking. The buildings to the right remained but have had significant facade upgrades. Parking is still pretty limited throughout the center.
Delivery bays at left corner of the store only.
The Lincroft Acme is about 9 miles from the shore. There are two other Acmes nearby in Fair Haven and Shrewsbury.
Vacant lot to the left where the new Acme will be built.
Crystal clear image from 1979. You can see the second floor is located at the rear of the store.
Some big business back in the day.
Just a few years old here. Notice the angled parking lot spaces which were straightened out by 1969.
A couple more years and Acme would own this town.
Lincroft: a premiere Acme location. End of story.
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