Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Lawrenceville Acme...

IS Getting Better!

Location: 2497 Brunswick Avenue/Route 1, Lawrenceville NJ

Work is underway at the Lawrenceville Acme! As previously reported on the blog, Acme has recently signed a long-term lease for this location and the shopping center is about to undergo a major renovation of its own. What is not happening here is a full-scale remodel. The somewhat tired looking Chalkboard Market decor is remaining in place. Seems like it would be rather easy to remodel this store from a decor perspective. Most of the cases have been updated in recent years and the floor is in relatively good shape. Perhaps a remodel will happen once work on the shopping center begins, which at this point, has yet to begin.

First "improvement" underway... removal of self-checkouts! Personally, I love self-checkouts so I don't see this as an improvement. The company is giving the standard explanation for this change by saying they want customers to have more interaction with the employees. It is generally believed that stores yank the self-checkouts out to curb shoplifting. As recently reported under September Discussions, Acme is removing the self-checkouts from all of their stores.

More views of the front-end under transformation...

One huge change to happen here is the removal of the last grocery aisle. This change does make a big difference in the Dairy aisle which was once as narrow as could be. See below...

The last aisle used to be very tight. While it is great to now have extra room in the last aisle, the selection in the already smaller-than-usual-store must have taken a bit of a hit. To make up for some of the loss, 2 mini-aisles were added over in Produce for health foods and Heath and Beauty has been reconfigured for more shelving...

The direction of the aisles have been switched here. Floor tiles still need to be replaced.

I believe shampoo was moved from the grocery aisles to the former "Vitamin Center", which you can see below. In the photo above, you can see some old tiles right under the shelve. They appear to form a checkerboard pattern as if they were left over from the 80's but they are alternating between blue and red which doesn't make much sense.

Above is a photo of how this area used to be arranged.

Looks as though the "Photo" portion of Customer Service is getting the boot. Couldn't quite tell for sure. In person, it looks like this area is being prepped for removal.

One final look at the deluxe Frozen Food cases. These have been in place for a while now. They date back to June 2013 when the store had it's full Acme Style treatment which you can check out by clicking here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Manasquan Acme...

NOT Getting Better

Location: 71 Taylor Ave, Manasquan, NJ 

Kicking off a new featured here at Acme Style — "Is Acme Getting Better?" Not sure how often these sorts of posts will occur but I do have two ready to go so far. If you see improvements happening at your Acme, feel free to snap a few pictures and send them in. I unfortuantely can't make a habit of revisiting stores that are already posted on the blog. There are far too many yet to recieve the Acme Style treatment.

Today we will be looking at an Acme that is NOT getting better. It has actually taken a turn for the worse. The once charming store with its Checkerboard Arch decor is now an embarrassing mess. The Middlesex store, which is the only other store with this look, had a repaint as well but the overall decor was left mostly untouched. At Manasquan, paint was haphazardly splashed all over the walls.

Above is how the Produce department looks now. Below is a photo prior to the repaint. Is that an improvement? I would have to say no. Not even close. I am a little biased however as this is one of my favorite decor packages of all time. Just look at how great it is was...

A few more photos can be seen in the original Manasquan post.

Frozen Food with the fresh paint above and the original look below.

Frozen Food goes from fun to a flop. Prepare yourself for a close-up of the work that was done. You will not believe your eyes.

You still might notice how bad the repaint is here. Please click on the photo to make it larger for a better look. Was this done by a professional painter? I can't imagine it was. Check out the mess they made out of the letters. And the white paint all over the ceiling. Did they even try to avoid getting paint on the ceiling? Was there no room in the budget for painter's tape? The brown border was the easiest part to paint and that has both the color above and below all over it. Aside from all of that, the peachy beige color is awful. Such a shame. Does anyone in the company think this is an improvement? I say a re-do should be a top priority. This classic location deceivers so much better.

The Industrial Circus aisle markers are being used here. They've been in place for years now. Wouldn't be so terrible if they still had they're original panels instead of those printed labels...

One final look at the previous decor. "Bakery" no longer applied to this section as the Dairy cases were extended all the way tot he front corner. They have removed those letters as you can see in the photo above this one. Why was the checkerboard such a problem? I just don't understand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Former Acme – Haddon Heights, NJ

Location: 400 Kings Highway, Haddon Heights, NJ

Classic photo courtesy of Michael Lisicky

Today we're having a look at the former Haddon Heights Acme. The classic picture above has been previously featured on the blog but at the time I hadn't yet made a visit to the location. Certainly not a big surprise that CVS now occupies the building but it is somewhat of a surprise how intact they left the original structure.

The Acme opened on June 2, 1966 replacing an older store built in 1947 which was located on White Horse Pike (exact address unknown). The original store may have been located on this property to the right of the pitched-rood model. We'll see some evidence of this in the historic images. The building's store front could have been on White Horse Pike which intersects Kings Highway at the corner of this property. Ultimately, it's impossible to tell from the historic images if the original Acme was located here as well. I'm just going on a hunch. Hopefully someone will be able to confirm the address for us for the 40's store.

CVS added an awning and reconfigured the entrances. They also a put in a drop ceiling inside but left the front window exposed all the way up to the pitch. We'll take a look at that down below. CVS did a similar treatment to the former pitched-roof store in Yardville, NJ.

While the overall structure is very much intact, CVS has done a lot of work to the building. The front and right side has all new brick.

Looking up at the windows from the inside...

This also happens to be a very upscale CVS. Easily the nicest CVS I've even been in. The store is quite large too as it doesn't share any of the space with another retailer. Unfortunately, I didn't take any additional photos of the interior.

The original red brick is seen along the left side and back and about 2/3 of the right side.

Trees obscure our view of the back of the store. We'll go in closer for a look at some scars...

Second floor window here.

Compressor room door there.

Since the back of the store backs up to a parking lot, Acme's delivery doors when on the side of the building.

Aerial Images

Historic Images





The pitch-roof store had yet to arrive in 1965 but we do see the other building on the left that may have been the first Haddon Heights Acme. Some additions had been done as you can see when you compare the building to the photo below.

Update 9.24.14: Bill Haines confirmed it in the comments... my hunch was correct! The building seen above is the original Acme from 1947.

Could this have been the Acme built in 1947?

Photo courtesy of subliculous on flickr

The Acme fish-eye sign tragically painted over in black shortly after the store closed. 

An interesting comment left under the previous Haddon Heights post...

This was a very busy active Acme even though there were other grocery chains in the area. Community was very established and Acme abandon it. I don't think former customers were rushing over to the one in Audubon. They had competition from Pathmark in Lawnside which closed and was taken over by ShopRite recently.

Friday, September 19, 2014



These pictures just in courtesy of dougbalt. The Beach Haven Acme closed prior to September 19th. Demolition is now in progress!