Friday, February 14, 2014

Acme — Westtown, PA



Location: 1161 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA


Now arriving on Acme Style, the second of the two Acmes that are closing for good next Thursday, if not sooner. The Westtown store has been in service for about 25 years now, having replaced an older store 2 miles south on Wilmington Pike. This was a rare location that opened with the 80's remodel decor. As I've mentioned before on the blog, Acme spent the mid to late 80's focusing on remodels and expansions of existing locations with construction of new and/or replacement stores at a minimum. I haven't attempted to track down all the new stores of that time but I would wager a guess at there being about ten to fifteen of them. Acme would wait until the early 90's to really get serious about new store construction.

Like the store in Exton, this Acme competes with a newly remodeled Giant about a mile down the road. The two stores have coexisted for a little over 10 years now but the Acme has become increasingly dated during that time. The last remodel here was the Alberstons Marketplace package with the original 80's floor left intact and remnants of the 90's Red/White/Blue remodel left behind. Giant's impact on business here certainly has impacted Acme's willingness to invest in the store.  Plans for a Wegman's to be built a few miles away may also be a factor for the closing of this location. All is not completely lost here… Acme has a store a few miles north in West Goshen and a relatively new  store over in Glen Mills which is actually closer to the former store this Acme replaced!


The Sav-on sign has been removed from the storefront. A scar remains from where "Pharmacy" was removed over to the left.


Not one of the more attractive Acmes from the outside or the inside...


The checkerboard floor from the 80's remains alive and well here having survived two rounds of remodels in the last two decades. It is not a good match for the Alberstons Marketplace decor.


The 90's light boxes remain above the checkouts now painted a cream color. Produce is directly behind where I'm standing.


Flat drop ceiling in Produce. No arches or windows along the back wall like we see in the 90's stores.




Wild Harvest out in the open! Faces the Bakery rather than being in one of the grocery aisles. This store does not have a center aisle.


A lot odd things are going on with the tile here. First off, what's up with the white section? Why a solid tan border around it? I do not know. The color of the beige tiles seem off too. It's darker than what is normally found in the 80's checkerboard floor. Also strange is the Bakery having the beige tiles instead of the standard gold tiles.


Some elements of the 90's decor didn't make it into this stores. The Bakery sign is mounted directly to the wall instead of the panels that were found above the Bakery and Seafood departments in the 90's store. You can see an example below from the Glassboro store...




The tiles in the grocery aisles look lighter than the ones we saw over in the Wild Harvest aisle. You can also see here a solid tan line running along the left side of the aisle. Apparently something was reconfigured at some point and I want to know what it was!


Off in the distance you can see a couple of key stones from the 90's decor left along the Bakery wall.




Pink Meat Departmen tiles meet the orange tiles of Seafood and Deli.


Like in the Bakery, the Seafood letters are mounted directly to the wall. You can another odd tile configuration in front of the Seafood case. Seems like it would have been a better idea just to leave the section all white rather than tossing in some tan tiles.


I'd love to know why they just didn't rip those keystones off the walls. They did in plenty of other stores.


Could these be the original frozen food cases? I believe they might be. Wish I had taken a closer look when I was here.


Pharmacy along the front wall with it's letters torn off.


The tan tiles reach all the way to Dairy which should have blue tiles.




A close-up of the Pharmacy which has the blue Dairy tiles.


Looks like the bank gave to the boot to the Floral Department, if there ever was one in the first place. Notice the tiles cut at an angle on the floor. Similiar to the angled ceiling above.




Even with the discounts there was hardly a customer to be found.



Aerial Views...


The other stores are sure to take a hit when the Acme closes.




Let's take a quick trip down the road to check out the Giant!








We'll take a very quick tour of this store. It's very similar to the one in Exton. Even has the Beer department in the front, which I did not snap a picture of.




That's some bad lighting on the Bakery sign.








This place was slammin' busy!


Frozen favorites now where the Bakery used to be located. Giant hasn't updated the store's floor plan on their website. You can visit it by clicking here. (Scroll down below the directory page)



A look at the various supermarkets in the area...


The original Acme, as pointed out with the red oval logo, stood where the AMC theaters are now. All indications are the building was torn down. According to the historic aerials, the store arrived after 1971 and was gone by the next available aerial in 2002. Unfortunately, no available historic aerials show the store.

The Acme on the right side of the image is the Glen Mills store, not yet standing when this aerial was taken. Wegmans is planning to build approximately the area where you see there logo.

Update: I completely forgot to talk about the Whole Foods. Gary gave us the lowdown in the comments section…

The Whole Foods you pointed out in the picture but didn't mention is almost two years old. It replaced a Genuardi's that closed in 2010. They ripped the whole front off the building, it was quite a transformation. The Genuardi's always seemed so small and packed in, the Whole Foods remodel really opened the space up. I was glad to finally see someone come in and compete with the Trader Joe's just down 202, that place seemed like it was always packed to the walls with people. Not to mention there wasn't a Whole Foods for quite some distance (Main Line). I would always see the trucks on
I-95, just passing through the area. Glad they now have a place
to stop.


Historic Aerials... 


Acme 2010


Acme 2008


Giant 2008


Acme 2002


Giant 2002


Acme 1971




With coverage of both the closing stores now out of the way, we'll switch gears for next Friday's post and visit the hugely successful Acme over in Glen Mills!

18 comments:

  1. Giant got remodeled. Did it have the fresh scheme or the green and cream department letters scheme?

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I said the Giant got remodeled.

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    2. I meant.. What was the previous model

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    3. Giant opened around 2002, so it most likely had the green letters, although they may have changed the signage in between. It also had a pharmacy originally, which closed a few years ago.

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    4. IS that why they never bother to remodel the giants with the "fresh" scheme?

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  2. How does this store compare to Elberon? It seems a lot bigger, but with a similar layout.

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    Replies
    1. The Elberon store definitely had a nicer facade. Judging from the two interior pictures I was able to get, Elberon actually had a different layout. The deli came before the meat department. You can see the stripes are still along the back wall. Orange first and then pink.

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    2. I just measured it on historic aerials and it seems to be 55000 sq ft. Isn't that kind of big for an Acme from the 80s? Is it possible that there was an addition when it got the red white and blue remodel?

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    3. You're right, it is a little large for an 80's store. You can also see a line along the roof the could signify an addition to the left side. If that section was an addition, then the original building would have been a little small compared to other new stores of the 80's. But if they did expand it during the 90's remodel, why on earth would they extend the 80's floor to the new section instead re-tiling the whole place?

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  3. The snub nose look on the roof is really unattractive. I've never been in this store, myself, but I have been past it plenty of times. The whole shopping center just seems to not look inviting from 202, while the Giant shopping center is very open and welcoming.

    I cannot believe that Giant is already ten. Seems like just yesterday was the grand opening. Haven't been there in a while, didn't know they added beer.

    The Whole Foods you pointed out in the picture but didn't mention is almost two years old. It replaced a Genuardi's that closed in 2010. They ripped the whole front off the building, it was quite a transformation. The Genuardi's always seemed so small and packed in, the Whole Foods remodel really opened the space up. I was glad to finally see someone come in and compete with the Trader Joe's just down 202, that place seemed like it was always packed to the walls with people. Not to mention there wasn't a Whole Foods for quite some distance (Main Line). I would always see the trucks on I-95, just passing through the area. Glad they now have a place to stop.

    The Wegmans will really change the landscape in this area. They draw from a much larger area than a traditional grocery store, and will no doubt affect 10 or so stores in all.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gary, I did forget to talk about the Whole Foods. I added the details you provided to the post.

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    2. There is also a Fresh Market in the mix. It is across the street from the Acme in Glen Mills. It started out as a Zagara's (who were purchased by Genuardi's), then it became some other upscale store, and then it became a Fresh Market. I think that's how it went, anyway. I really liked the Zagara's, was sad to see it go. I have only been in the Fresh Market one time.

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  4. Hello, Acme Style. A few points I wanted to mention.

    1) Giant expanded this store before adding beer. The front right part of the store in your first Giant photo shows a small retail store. It was a Blockbuster. Giant not only took over this space, but physically expanded the building behind it, filling in all that empty space.

    2) You have Wegmans located in the wrong place. They should be in the lower left hand corer of the map photo, just a little bit north of Whole Foods. To explain better, the store will be on the right hand side when headed south towards Delaware.

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    Replies
    1. According to this article from last December, I have the Wegmans in the correct place. The store will be located along Applied Card Way which is a very short road extending south from Route 1.
      http://chaddsfordlive.com/2013/12/12/wegmans-concord-approval-chadds-ford/

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    2. You are correct! Please accept my apology. My own research told me that it was directly across the street on 202.
      Nonetheless, at least my comments about Giant were correct...

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    3. He's got it right. Applied Card vacated the building a while ago, and moved down here to Delaware.

      So from the looks of it, they will be leveling the old Applied Card building. They also have to make Applied Card Way a complete road to allow access to the store and the accompanying shops from both 202 and 1/322.

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  5. From what I've been told, the AMC Painter's Crossing 9 Theatre is in the actual Acme Markets building

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  6. Great pics. Shame that Acme decided to close this store down.

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