Friday, September 2, 2011

Jersey Shore Acme – Somers Point, NJ


Location: 212 New Road, Somers Point, NJ

Acme Style's return to Somers Point! We were treated to pictures of the former pitched-roof store back in the blog's early days. Michael Lisicky had taken them just prior to the store's closing. His pictures are included down below. I am sure you are all quite familiar with them as the remain the most fascinating and unique photos to have ever appeared on the blog. Michael also shared with us some interesting aspects of the old Acme's history. To visit the post before proceeding here, please click here

Now on to my story... I headed down to the Somers Point store fully expecting to find a virtually dead Acme. I wondered too if this store still had the 90's Red/White/Blue decor package. Why so pessimistic? Well... there's a booming ShopRite just a stone's throw away and, by now, we're all too familiar with the fate of an Acme when a ShopRite is located nearby. Turns out I was in for a bit of a surprise here. The first being the amount of shoppers at this Acme. The place was hopping! The next big surprise was the decor... a unique version of the "Industrial Circus" decor not yet seen on the blog. It bares similarities to the decor package from the now-torn-down Bryn Mawr store.  We'll get an extensive tour of the store in just a moment. 

But my biggest surprise here was the shopping experience I had. When I travel around to visit Acmes I often have a list of a few things to pick up. Dry goods and unrefrigerated items of course as I usually find myself far from home. On this day's outing, I had an extensive list of items and decided do some serious shopping at Somers Point. This was mostly due to the fact that I don't often get to these 90's stores and wanted to have a true shopping experience in one. During my time at the store, I had interactions with no less than 6 employees for a variety reasons. The level of customer service received from each one was outstanding. Service at all sorts of retails stores these days is doing nothing but going down the drain. The Somers Point Acme is clearly determined not to follow that trend. I would have no need to go to the ShopRite when things are this good at the Acme!  


Produce windows along the left side of the store. 

FOOD•DRUG remains on the building despite the addition of the Sav-on signage. 

For all the times I've been in a 90's store, I've never taken an interior shot of a tower. It's always something I realized I missed when I go through the photos at a later date. Didn't miss it this time!

Check out all the differences in this decor package from what were used to seeing in "Industrial Circus" decor stores. Corrugated steel and bold all-cap font lacking from this version in favor of a higher-end look. Notice the pattern of the tiles in the Mellon and Salad Bar prep area... a wave pattern here rather than the more commonly seen checkerboard pattern which can be seen here

A lack of signage in Produce with this decor package. The boarder around the ceiling is also very plain here and lacking the arches commonly seen in 90's stores.To see what the this area looked like when the store first opened, click here

Produce window still intact. As mentioned in previous posts, these windows often get covered over with mirrors during remodels. 

The only Premium Fresh and Healthy element at this location is the newly added store direcory. Lots of registers opened here. All with lines when I was ready to check out. 

First time seeing these brass light fixtures.  You can compare the look here to the similar one at the Bakery in Bryn Mawr by clicking here


This area is to the rear of the store just passed the Bakery. 

The department names also appear on the 4-sqaure panels. The food graphics are printed on the panel here rather than being a separate piece mounted to the panel.  



Like Mays Landing, the Floral Department is in an unusal spot. Here's it's located at the front of the "Wild Harvest" health food aisle. 

Since we're in the aisles, lets take a look at a few more examples of the "Essentail Everyday" products which are slowly but surely replacing the Acme brand... 




Is this black strip/white logo label just for "Premium" products or is this the packaging that Albertsons rolled out when they bought Acme? I seem to remember seeing tons of products with this packaging years ago but I could be wrong.  

Time to spring for a couple of lightbulbs. The Bakery needs one too. 


Below is some seriously old school packaging which still remains in the Frozen Seafood cases. The packaging is old. Not the products... 

The red oval logo within the blue box was used on packaging throughout the store. Crazy to think this packaging has not been updated as of 2011 considering the block letter logo was rolled out in the early 90's.

Well that's one one way to update the packaging!


From all that fish to the Fresh Deli...



The grouted tile area is original to the store. The yellow tiles to the left were put in during the remodel. 

Premium Fresh and Healthy aisle markers have not made their way to Somers Point. 



First time I've seen this... flattened columns. You can compare this treatment to the one seen in the same exact spot in the May's Landing store by clicking here.  



Health and beauty aids fill this corner of the store. In 90's era stores, Floral is commonly located in the corner as well.




Aerial images of the shopping center...

A relatively new Kmart built on the site of the former pitched-roof Acme. Surprisingly this store was never rebranded "Big Kmart". The old Kmart logo looks so much better in it's original form.

ShopRite just north of the Acme. As Michael told us in the original Somers Point post, ShopRite and Acme have been going at it here since the 70's. For about 10 years, Acme had the larger more modern store. ShopRite built a new store just next to the old one in the mid 2000's. Acme appears to be holding it's own quite possibly due to the outstanding level of customer service it offers. Better location too. After my experience at this Acme, I would have no need to bother with the ShopRite. 





Over to "The World's Newest Kmart!" (see Ross' comment for more details)...

Can't remember the last time I saw a Kmart with this kinda crowd. Both in this image and the day that I was there. Somers Point must be a Target-free and Walmart-free kinda town. 

Kmart's facade very similar to the Acme. 


The historical aerials... 

2006

2002

A quick look at the evolution of the ShopRite in the 2000's...

2006
The new location above in 2006 with the original location below in 2002. The 70's store looks to have been expanded once or twice over the years. 

2002
Back to the Acme...

1995
The new Acme had opened by 1995 despite the fact that we see no cars in front of the store.  

1995

Below are the spectacular photos from Michael of the pitched-roof store while it was still open... 






Heading further back in time...

1987

1987
Close-up with the pitched-roof Acme all the way to the right.

1970

1963

 1957

Somers Point is southwest of Atlantic City. The Island at the bottom of the photo is Ocean City which is home to an Acme as well. Heading to Ocean City in either direction makes for stocking up at an Acme quite convenient! 


Thanks to the Somers Point Acme for one of the best shopping experiences I've had in recent memory!

12 comments:

  1. The black label white text was rolled out when albertons bought the chain. it allowed for easier rebranding, just print JEWEL,OSCO or Alberstons on that spot and send it out. The browns mills acme used to get some oddball Jewel branded things every once in a while.

    Here is a newer example of alberstons, soon to be Essencial everyday: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C1J46r0QMog/TaNxedSBqDI/AAAAAAAACVY/oQvNpLaV_bA/s1600/DSCF0019.JPG

    http://www.jewelosco.com/jewel/img/Jewelcollage.jpg Some Jewel

    http://www.grocerycouponnetwork.com/images/food-products/Jewel_Apple_Cinnamon_Fruit_Grain_Cereal_Bars_Apple_Cinnamon.jpg and that one kind of looks like the old oval acme packaging.

    it is easy to swap around as needed. Just switch the logo area, and that is all that matters since it is the same company that makes it all.

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  2. The Kmart in the shopping plaza with the Acme is actually the world's newest Kmart store. Store #9463 opened in early 2002 (which is why it's not a Big Kmart), right before the bankrupcy, and it was the only one to open that year. It's kinda crazy to see that a new Kmart hasn't opened in almost 10 years now.

    Here's a link: (But the Kmart is listed as being a possible former Jamesway instead of Acme.)http://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/5819796297/

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  3. Just an fyi....i saw a few Essential Everyday items showing up at Redner's (a Supervalu-supplied chain that has been using the Richfood brand). I only saw it on one type of cereal though...the rest were still Richfood.

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  4. @Steve: Easy but not easy enough which is why the separately branded products are biting the dust. Having one product line for all banners will be easier to manage and more cost effective.

    @Ross: Thanks for the news! The Kmart has been updated to "The World's Newest Kmart!"

    @Matt: That's disturbing news. I wouldn't be surprised if the switch is made at Redner's. It's a shame that Acme is further losing it's identity in the Philadelphia market.

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  5. Michael Lisicky's pictures of the old Somers Point store bring back so many memories! They are great. The old A-frame store opened in June 1962 and was probably about 16,000 square feet. It lasted for 32 years, which is really pretty good. The new super combo store opened in Dec 1994, and has 60,000 square feet.

    I too experienced wonderful customer service this week at Acme. I was looking for fresh basil, and the Produce Manager stopped what he was doing and took me right to the item. In fact, they had two different kinds of fresh basil, so I was impressed.

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  6. When my friends and I were in Wildwood this past June we took a longer way home and ended up eating at the Shop-Rite's food court; the service there was amazing as well, with employees greeting and handing out samples at the door. The two stores definitely prove the idea that competition can make everyone step up their game.

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  7. the exterior of that store looks almost exactly like willingboro acme 7926. creepy!

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  8. and the Hamilton Sq. store...

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  9. I noticed in my newspaper insert last week that Kmart will be celebrating a grand opening in Clinton Maryland.
    Yes indeed, it has been a very long time since a Kmart grand opening

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  10. Looks like the Clinton MD store is a former Kmart that was converted to the Sears Essentials banner, and is now being converted back to Kmart.

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  11. I just found ACME branded spaghetti, elbow macaroni, rigatoni, and rotini at a Memphis Big Lots, along with Shaw's branded ziti. Every item was 90 cents. I suppose this is where all the remnants are going...

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  12. What happened to the old ACME?

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