Friday, September 28, 2012

Brand New Bryn Mawr!

Location: 601West Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA

The newest Acme on the planet finally arrives at Acme Style! I apologize for the delay of this very momentous occasion. The store opened on June 1, 2012 but I wasn't able to make the trip there until just a few weeks ago. After all the anticipation, I have to say... this new Acme did not disappoint.

The former Bryn Mawr Acme, a 1956 model which stood on this site for 55 years, was closed on May 12, 2011 to make way for its big fancy replacement. The old location was covered on the blog in May 2011 and can be visited by clicking here. Grand Opening of the new store was June 1, 2012, several month pasts it's original opening date. Construction was met with delays in Fall in 2011 due to an unusually rainy season which included Hurricane Irene. The project was delayed by years due to Acme waiting to acquire the land just next door where a Jaguar dealership stood. Once that deal went through, it was out with the old, in with the new!

Busy Saturday afternoon here. By far the busiest store I visited that day. The store was very busy on a Saturday afternoon. The new parking, much larger and easier to navigate than the old one, was 3/4 full. The entrance is straight ahead...

Below is a floor plan I put together to give you an idea of the layout before seeing the interior pictures...

This is done from memory and not 100% accurate. I seem to remember there being only one aisle that extends from front to back. I have two pictured above in an effort to make up for all 16 aisles. The new sales floor space is twice the size of the old. Click here for a look at the former store's layout. And yes, he checkout lanes are angled to save space! The only other store I've seen this done in is the Weis Markets in Clarks Summit PA.

Market Deli is immediately to the left when you walk through the entrance. It's tucked slightly in the corner. The Prepared Foods section just beyond the Deli seems to grab your attention first when you walk through the doors. Did for me anyway.

Both Deli and Prepared Foods were staffed with tons of employees in black chef coats. Extremely classy looking. Have to say I was surprised at the volume of employees behind the counters, not to mention throughout the entire store. Made for some challenging picture taking.

Impressive Salad Bar and Olives Bar located between the service departments and Produce. The layout here is tremendously better than the "Albertsons Marketplace" layout where these bars were often located up against the walls.

Stunning Produce Department. Quite large and roomy considering the overall size of the store.

Does anyone know if this latest decor package has a name? It may still be called the "Premium Fresh and Heathy" package, although that's so old at this point it may have been retired for a new and more exciting term. As I've mentioned before, this package has to be one of the least expensive to come along in years. Referring to the decor here and not the higher end cases that are being used throughout the store. Must be much less expensive than the previous decor here with all of it's highly detailed department signs and decor items mounted to the walls. Click here for a look.

Huge selection of cakes in the back corner. There's even bags of cookie dough! Really cool freezers too which are hard to see from this distance. Some of the doors around rounded outward. Not something I've seen before.

Here you can see the rounded doors with the "Ask us..." banners at the top. Wall treatments could not be simpler. Hang a couple of prints and a sign from the ceiling and call it a day. Yet they look really good. They can also be easily changed out down the line to freshen up the store. No more disasters like at the Sharon Hill store where the water department is called "Bakery". See here.

The store is pleasantly clutter-free despite it's smaller size.

"bread and rolls" run right behind the produce cases seen earlier. This section faces the back of the store.

Looking along the back of the store. Several aisles are located to the left of where I am standing.

This decor package is being rolled out in all of SuperValu's grocery store chains like Shaws and Jewel Osco. You won't find any other chains with Lancaster Brand Meats as far as I know. Surprised SuperValu hasn't stripped this name out. They've already gotten rid of everything branded "ACME" except the sign on the store. Oh, the grocery bags still say ACME but I'm sure their days are numbered too.

The "PFH" wave style category markers appear to have been retired in favor of this new oval shaped signs. The wave remains on the aisle markers with the Albertsons leaf long gone now.

Dairy runs along the back of the store and part way down aisle 16.

Grocery aisles 8-16 are very short. It's in these aisles that you realize the store is pretty small.

Wide Frozen Food aisles with no displays in the middle. Very nice.

Looking towards the front of the store. Rest Rooms and Manager's Office straight ahead.

Angled registers! Very spacious front end. Check out those register lights! (More views below) A gazillion times better than the awful generic ones that Acme started using in the late 90's and continued to use in all of it's new stores up until this one. I can't say enough bad things about them. You can see them here in the now defunct Moorestown store. This store does have video screens at each register. Another thing I cannot stand! Why do I need to have something shouting at me when I'm standing in line to pay for my groceries? Huge turn off. I avoid my local ShopRite for this very reason. Well, one of many reasons.

We're back at Produce here looking across the front end. Customer Service has a a cool, curved drop ceiling over it it.

Finally! A store with self-checkouts AND and an express lane. I love self-checkouts but hate the fact that stores let anyone use them no matter how much crap is in there cart and then have ZERO registers designated as express.

Looking out the front windows to the parking lot. The Deli and Bakery lined that wall in the old store. Now for a look outside...

Have to say, the completed building looks even better than renditions shown online prior to construction. This back section looks like a repurposed warehouse.

Windows above Frozen in aisle 16. Some of the brick looks purposely aged for a nice effect.

Fake windows along the back and the far side...

Not quite the tower that once stood here.

No aerial shots are available of the new store just yet...

Here's a look at the old store with the former Jaguar dealership next door.

bing maps reveals the new store under construction. Looks as though the store has a basement on the left side.

Back around front of this brand new beauty. Probably the last brand new Acme we'll ever see.


  1. It's sad to say but your right.." it is the last brand new store we'll ever see"...wish I could disagree with you on that but I can't..sad

    1. We used to think that the Elberon store built in 1989 was the last Acme built in the North Jersey division. I guess you never know...

  2. Warms my heart to see an Acme with such a full parking don't see that at most locations.

  3. Yes, Bryn Mawr is a beautiful store, and apparently the conversion of the Wynnwood Gernardi's to a Giant hasn't hurt business.

    I am told, with certainty, that on Long Beach Island, a new Acme, similar in size to Bryn Mawr, is to be built on the site of the Beach Theatre, the old Acme then demolished, with that site used for parking, and the existing side parking lot to be developed into upscale beach houses (with a view of the roof of the new store). Suppossedly all of this is to be completed by Memorial Day. I was on LBI this week, and demolition of the theatre hasn't yet started, but there was construction equipment next to the theatre. Time will tell!

    1. This really surprises me that Acme would invest in a new store in such a seasonal area... just up the road in Barnegat there's a nice Genuardi's that Safeway is trying to unload and it seems like it would be a better investment for Acme to serve that community which is less seasonal... just saying

  4. Interesting news Bill! I know rumors of a new Acme being built there have circulating for a while now.

    I'm finding the Giant conversions of the Genuardis to be... underwhelming. Have yet to be in one that's even remotely busy. Weis is putting in even less effort in their conversions. I have some photographed and will be including them in upcoming posts.

    1. I agree with you with the Genuardi's converstions (I was a temporary worker for an outside company that helped with some of the store conversions/merchandising). I think the area is just too over-Giant'ed. My local Genuardi's was already a pretty busy store, but the amount of customers has remained around the same. They pointed out they kept the pizza counters and all the stuff Genuardi's had, but the last time I stopped in, there was no staff, or customers in that section of the store at all. (There is an actual pizza shop in the center, and Giant's prices were about equal). Not only that, but the combination salad/food bar was priced almost $3 a pound higher than an older Giant down the road...crazy.

      One of the stores Giant took over in 2011 (Warrington, PA specifically), seems to be doing even worse. This store did almost no business as Genuardi's, and the customer volume looks to be the same. This store has very little prepared foods (they ditched the pizza counter) or any special features. There are even rumors they may get rid of the meat and seafood employees here, and go prepackaged. But with a Wegmans almost across the street, and about 4 surrounding Giant's (before the takeover, now it's even more), I don't know why they thought this store would be successful.

  5. I would imagine even the busier Genuardi's were still considerably lower volume than what Giant or even Weis are used to after years of customers abandoning them; they've been more focused on not losing the existing customers, but hopefully as they start to gain new ones they'll pick up.

    Weis is well known to not remodel their acquired stores for sometimes years after; they'll wait to see if it's worth it financially to do.

  6. At least this version of PFH is a lot more colorful and appealing than some of the previous examples of this look (like the very brown Woodbury), even though it isn't the most expensive look ever like the Acme Theme Park days.

    And also, if the rumors about the Beach Haven store being replaced and torn down do materialize, someone should go into the store on their last day open with a wrench and take those script logo handles from the door to keep them from getting hauled off to the dump!

  7. with the condition of supervalue i dont know if Acme will be around next year unless they go private or are bought out by a good company willing to keep the name

  8. It's true, unfortunately. SuperValu is a sinking ship. It would be a shame if they take Acme down with them.

  9. At our store we call supervalu....NOVALU

  10. Supposedly Newtown square store is receiving a huge remodel involving moving departments and all. I plan to check it out soon. I hear tony luke'S will be put in there too.

  11. I love what you said about self checkouts, I've seen a person in giant with like a FULL cart, and not those double Decker carts, the big carts.

  12. Does anyone know the font for this decor package?

    1. I've tried to find it but haven't had any luck yet.

    2. Saw it on a cookie box, too. How many square feet is this store?

  13. I wish I get a current photos because I'm trying to draw a floor plan. If someone has current photos, I'd thank you give me, please.

  14. Hi!! I dont' live in Bryn Mawr, for that reason I can't go there. Your floor plan helped me a little, but isn't exactly.

  15. Such doom and gloom overshadowing the new ACME in this post, written in a time when the future of ACME wasn't entirely clear. There was a Tony Luke's apparently built as part of the store (occupying part of the deli area). Surprised it wasn't mentioned in the post.

    1. Gloom and doom? I fail to see what you are talking about. Funny coming from you too since your comments are often the most negative of any to come in for a given post. And here you are once again, “surprised” something was missed without a single positive word about the coverage that WAS provided. Well please accept my sincerest apologies for disappointing you in this post and any others that just don't measure up to your expectations.