Friday, January 18, 2013

Acme — Burlington, NJ

Location: 2200 Mount Holly Road, Burlington, NJ

The spectacular Burlington Acme finally arrives at Acme Style! One of the top requested stores here on the blog since day one. Another frequently requested store is the nearby Mount Holly location. Believe it or not, I didn't make it to there on this trip. The sun was already beginning to set when I arrived here at the Burlington store. Mount Holly will be covered in the first half of this year. At this point, nearly every remaining New Jersey Acme has been photographed and will be going up on the blog in the coming months.

Lots of interesting things to talk about here at the Burlington Acme. I've been told the store opened back in 1997, having taken over a portion of a former Bradlees discount department store which closed in 1995, possibly due to a Walmart joining the center. All remaining Bradlees stores closed in early 2001 when the chain went under. Judging from the satellite images, the Walmart opened before the Acme set up shop. Back in those days, Walmart wasn't the quite the threat to supermarkets as it's grocery selection was relatively minimal. Acme appears to have done alright in all of it's years competing with Walmart. The store had a huge remodel done back in 2006. I believe this is the only New Jersey location to receive the full floor-to-ceiling "Premium Fresh and Healthy" package. This includes all new cases, new lighting and new flooring. I haven't quite been to all NJ Acmes just yet but I don't think any of the remaining ones on my list have had this extensive remodel.

The Walmart, on the other hand, has not been extensively remodeled like most of their locations. Granted, I didn't step inside but the old logo and color scheme remain on the outside. I flat out refuse to do any business with Walmart. Gave up on them in the late 90's when I began learning of their truly evil business practices. Looks like the residents of Burlington may share some of the same feelings. Walmart's plans of converting this location into a Super Center date back to 2005 but have yet to begin. Legal issues and resistance from the township have the expansion plans on hold. For Acme's sake, let's hope the plans never get the green light!

Let's get fresh and healthy...

This decor package was rolled out in the mid-2000's. Two stores featured on the blog were built with this package... the Avondale store (scroll down past the Kennet Square pictures) and the now defunct Limerick store. Many existing stores were remodeled with variations of this package with very few getting this deluxe treatment. The only other store I've been in with this same package is the Feasterville location. Most other locations received a less extravagant version of this package as seen in the Woodbury (below the Mantua pictures) and Flourtown stores. Prior to the 2006 remodel, Burlington had been sporting the 90's Red/White/Blue decor, which we'll get a slight peak at down below.

This is a huge and impeccable clean store. Unfortunately a little light on customers during my visit.

Center aisle looking across to Dairy. Notice the super high ceilings left over from the building's department store days.

Deli and Meat along the back of the store.

Awnings like the one seen here were built in a few departments around the store for the remodel. These would not continue to be added in stores as this remodel was rolled out. Back lit department letters were also ditched in favor of just sticking the letters on the wall. See Woodbury.

Center aisle looking over to Produce.

The deeeeluxe Pharmacy department!

Faux hardwood floors in Health and Beauty.

The cavernous front end.

And now for a peek at the former decor!

These photos were taken back in '97 or '98, focusing more on displays than the decor. Check out the register lights! Acme was so late in the game joining other chains in having register lights. They were not included in the 80's remodel and only some stores received them during the Checkerboard Arch remodels. It wasn't until the 90's Red/White/Blue package that they became standard issue. Unfortunately, they were soon ripped out of all stores and replaced with the generic, advertisement holding register signs. See here. The ads have thankfully disappeared in recent years and have been replaced with Acme's own promotional signage. You can see them here at the former Glassboro store with "Gotta Love Great Deals" signs in each.

Now that we have the register lights taken care of, check out the deluxe aisle markers! They're a little hard to see here. Jump over to the former Fallston store for a slightly better look. The aisle markers there were mostly likely a hand-me-down from a remolded store. The original Red/White/Blue aisle markers can be seen here.

Fruit Bar and Bakery just over the mountain of bread.

A bit more of the wall decor beyond the wall of baked goods.

Back to the present for a look outside...

Acme took up about 2/3 of the Bradlees store with Marshalls taking over the rest.

Walmart over on the right.

Through the years...



Acme had yet to move in as of 1995.


All that remains of
the former Burlington Acme...

Location: 364 East Route 130, Burlington, NJ

The Burlington Acme that once stood here opened in Feb 1960. I don't have confirmation on this but would imagine it closed when the new Acme opened.

UPDATE: A super Wawa is now open at this site.


Did it remain abandoned until it was torn down? Kills me finding out about all these abandoned Acme's I could have gone to back when I was only dreaming about doing an Acme website!





Let's hope Burlington continues to say NO to Walmart!

UPDATE: The Walmart expansion has unfortunately begun.


  1. Great post! Couple of things, Wal-Mart is coming, they have begun work in the back of the store, moved out subway and closed the garden shop. The whole row of stores next to Wal-Mart is coming down soon since Fashion Bug closed. The original Burlington Acme was on Broad Street in Burlington City where edmars is now. The store on 130 was torn down sometime in the early 2000s and a super Wawa just opened there last year. Rumors are that the lease for this store is up, would be a shame for this store to close

    1. Thanks for the info! There were no signs of Walmart expanding when I was there and I couldn't find any news online about the project finally going forward.

  2. The Acme Sav-on/Marshall's building was first opened as a J. M. Fields, with the Toys R Us being a former Pantry Pride Supermarket. Then in 1980, the J. M. Fields became a Jefferson Ward, then Bradlees, and finally to the two store of today.

  3. The Walmart opened up in 1994. I like the Burlington Acme location better than the Mt. Holly location because it is cleaner and because of the new decor. The Acme on 130 closed when this location opened and yes it did remain vacant till it was torn down around 2006.

  4. I’m surprised that Wal-Mart is starting their expansion now. Every Wal-Mart that co-anchors a shopping center with another grocery store usually waits until right after or a few years after the grocery store closes or moves so it can become a supercenter, or Wal-Mart moves to a new site if the grocery store isn’t going anywhere soon. That’s what happened with the Turnersville Wal-Mart right after the Acme in that shopping center closed back around 2004. Usually Wal-Mart Supercenters don’t coexist with another grocery store in the same plaza.

    1. Interesting that you mentioned Tunnersville! I was just researching this store last Friday. Had no idea when it closed. I figured the Walmart SuperCenter ran it out of business but that wasn't the case after all.

    2. Yeah. Not only was that Wal-Mart the first Wal-Mart in New Jersey (it opened in 1991), it also ended up becoming the state's first Supercenter after it was expanded in 2005.

  5. Walmart usually won't expand if there's an existing supermarket in the shopping center because they can't; most grocery chains (especially union ones) were sure to put non-compete clauses in their leases. Apparently Acme didn't have such a clause, maybe because they weren't an original anchor to the center, or as mentioned above their lease could be almost up.

  6. Between its life as Pantry Pride and Toys R Us the original supermarket co-anchor space was occupied by a IGA supermarket owned by Bruce Korman who sold the store in 1990 alongside many others to a division of Supervalu (long before they owned Acme) the store then briefly operated under the "Ultra IGA" banner then "Ultra Foods" until sometime in the 90s. TRU took over soonafter

  7. mount holly was scheduled for a full remodel as well not all that long ago but once the shoprite in hainesport was complete the plug was pulled on that and only some minor tweaking was done still not a bad looking store compared to some other existing ones, burlington did get a lucky break getting the full remodel delivered as promised, although now with the way the economy is i don't think people are as concerned with appearance as they are pricing and selection, but it does help attract people when you walk into a clean not cluttered store, but no matter how nice a store looks when it lacks in customer service and the focus has been off of that since american stores left, it will continue to slide

  8. As i shop at both the burlington and Mt Holly acmes on a semi regular basis i can provide some compare/contrast between the two.

    The Burlington store feels fancier, and more upscale due to the remodel, the problem is...i feel the Mt Holly store has the better store made products, the hoagies at burlington always feel dryer, their baked goods are a bit lower quality i think, or maybe the staff at Mt Holly cares a bit more about their store made baked goods. The layout of Mt Holly feels nicer as well, maybe it is due to it being a variant of the 1990s store layout that Browns Mills (the acme i grew up with) having causing the instant familiarity.

    Both stores are well maintained, decently staffed, there are just enough small differences to lead me towards shopping at the Mt Holly store instead, i work near the Burlington store so it is handy for buying my lunch for the night at on my way in.

  9. There's another situation in Franklin Mills, PA in which a former Carrefours (Now DICK'S, Raymour and Flannigans, and Walmart) Walmart is right close to a PathMark Sav-A-Center, and Walmart is building a supercenter right in the former Ports Of the World/Boscov's/Steve and Barrys, which would drive Pathmark out of business.

  10. Walmart expansion was completed by June 2014. Complete floor to ceiling remodel.

  11. Um, Acme Style I'm Confused, Did The Burlington Acme Shut Down?

  12. One thing that never quite added up about this store is that the Acme's roof seems to have a peak in it, something that would be quite strange for a 1990s store built out of something else. And oddly, there almost seems to be the peak hidden in the Bradlees as well according to older aerial photos. Did the Bradlees absorb an even older store that the ACME "reclaimed"?

  13. EDIT: Yeah, I did read that this used to be J.M. Field's, but it still looks like there was something even well as a discrepancy on the right side of the store that looks like an old entrance to this even older tenant. Sounds crazy, but...did this store ACTUALLY open as the Field's?