Location: 100 Black Horse Pike, Audubon, NJ
Time now for one of the most unique Acmes out there! This one-of-a-kind store owes it's usual characteristics to the original tenant here, Penn Fruit. That chain met its demise in the 70's after Acme launched a vicious price-war against its competitors. You can read all of the fascinating details of Penn Fruit's history in an article posted on grocerteria.com. You'll visit a time in history when Acme was the one crushing the competitors instead of the other way around. Acme acquired several Penn Fruit stores as the company went bankrupt. The Audubon store is the last of the Acmes operating in a former Penn Fruit location.
Update 1.26.14: PennFruitFan provided a link to this ad featuring the Audubon Penn Fruit supermarket before it opened. This image is shared from JSF0864's flickr collection which you can visit by clicking here.
Acme has expanded into all of the space on the right side of the Penn Fruit building. The flat-roofeed section on the left side may have been part of the Penn Fruit store. It's hard to tell at this point. We'll see in the satellite images that the footprint of this shopping center has not changed since 1956. Acme now takes up a majority of the complex.
Signs welcoming shoppers of the Pathmark in Camden which closed last September. The Pathmark was about 2 miles away on Ephraim Avenue.
Chalkboard Market decor package here… without any chalkboards. They may have existed here at one point, possibly being removed from being faded and messed up over the years. Also missing are old black and white photos of local landmarks along the walls which are occasionally seen with this decor package. The last remodel would have happened in the late 90's when American Stores was rolling out this remodel to many locations. Alberstons would soon be ditching this look in favor of their Industrial Circus decor. It is remarkable how flawless this store looks having been remodeled so long ago. Other upgrades have happened in the meantime as we'll see when we tour the store.
A look across the front-end just around the corner from the Bakery. A preview of the arched ceiling which is still beautifully intact!
Looking towards the Produce Department at the front corner of the store. Deli is to the right and Floral to the left.
A pass-way to the grocery aisles between the Bakery and Deli, possibly home to a Starbucks at one point. The floor underneath the soda display looks to have been added after something else was removed.
The whole store was stocked beautifully.
Salad Bar closed on Saturdays. Not sure if it's open during the week.
All of the service departments reside in the building that was next to thePenn Fruit store. They even squeezed the Meat Department in rather than running it along the back of the grocery aisles.
Looking back at the Fishermen's Net as we head to the grocery aisles.
Aisle 1 is all deals. It's a little closed in as walls run floor to ceiling behind the shelving on both sides.
Low ceiling for the first few aisles. The aisle markers were adapted for the low clearance.
The arched ceiling begins at aisle 5 and extends over to aisle 12.
What's interesting about this section of the store is there are no department signs from here on out with the exception of the Pharmacy. I mentioned the old black and white photos missing from the store because they would have been a nice addition to this back wall.
The ceiling no longer has a full arch across the store. The original structure has been retrofitted with light and ceiling tiles creating a flat section over the very middle of the store. Still a far better decision than putting in a flat drop ceiling across this section. Makes for changing light bulbs a little tricky though.
I was impressed with how streamlined this store is. The place was sparkling clean from floor to ceiling!
New Dairy cases have been put in.
The Pharmacy is the only department to get a sign outside of the service department aisle. I did appreciate this store's enthusiasm
The 90's Red/White/Blue decor light boxes still above the registers...
The lighter colored roof section on the left is home to several stores.
So here's the bad news… Walmart. It wasn't yet opened when this satellite image was taken so it may have been here for less than ten years no. Check out Acme's jam packed parking lot at the time. A big chunk of those shoppers are about to quit the Acme. I personally think it's an American tragedy what Walmart has done. Their business practices are deplorable. Their low-paid employees are a huge drain on government assistance programs. Estimates are that 80% of all Walmart employees collect food stamps. Low prices? Yeah right. They keep their prices low by paying horrible wages which us tax payers get stuck making up the difference.
Fortunately the store busier than the parking seems to indicate. When I pulled in I was expecting to find a completely dead store, which wasn't the case at all. The store must still do relatively well to receive the upgrades and maintenance is has received in recent years.