Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Acme – Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia


Photos courtesy of Eddie

Location: 2101-41 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia, PA

First up a few "before" pictures of the store...


The most unpleasant aspect of Acme taking over A&P has been watching A&P's brands fade away. The updated America's Choice packaging didn't even get rolled out to all products, as you can see here. I've been surprised to see Acme's lack of earth-friendly cleaning and household products. A&P Greenway products in these categories were quiet good. Stop and Shop and Wegmans both carry a wide assortment of these products with their private earth-friendly label. Acme seems to  carry only national brands in these categories and charges premium prices for them.


This store has the Pathmark Sav-a-center decor package...


The product photos on the wall are similar to those used in the 3rd round of A&P fresh remodels.


None of this sign survived the Acme conversion.



First a SuperFresh, then a Pathmark Sav-a-center and now, an Acme!


Another sad banner, for now.








"Thank You for Saving..." completely removed. Acme seems to have run out of signs to replace the A&P and Pathmark signs along the front end. Haven't seen them in any of the stores I've visited recently.


It's surprising how new some of A&P's stores look in the aerial images. This store has been here since at least 1999.


A screen grab from loopnet showing the surrounding area. The Acme is the only grocery store in the immediate area. Not sure what the closet competition is.

38 comments:

  1. How could they run out of signage? Also, they should buy the America's Choice and Greenway brands from A&P and start using it at all the Albertsons Companies, not just Acme. It could really live up to its' name- Albertsons has a lot of territory.

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    1. Albertsons does have a line for earth friendly cleaning products--Safeway's "Bright Green", but apparently that hasn't been rolled out yet.

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    2. I really miss Green Way. The store branding at my new Acme is pretty confusing and "Bright Green" is there in some seemingly random categories like dishwasher rinse agent, yet completely missing from others (spray cleaners and detergents). Also, the price points on Bright Green products (terrible packaging btw) that are in stock are 10-20% lower than the national "green" prodcuts; whereas Green Way tended to be extremely competitive....with savings of 40%-50%. Green Way is a hot commodity in A&P the branding auction, with Wakefern, Foodtown and a few others all expressing an interest.

      In general, I think the store brands at my new Acme is confusing in many areas, as there is Essential Everyday, then Signature Selects...or whatever....right next to it. Sometimes different sizes or different flavors even within the same product category are under the 2 different brands (both of which are unknown to new shoppers in many of these areas).

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    3. Carol, I completely agree with you. Acme's private label situation is a disaster. I figured they would have things straightened by the time they began doing these conversions. No such luck.

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    4. Buying the A&P stores seems to have been a spur of the moment type thing, but in terms of trying to homogenize the private label and moving away from Essential Everyday (the product of a ruined private label collection), it was precisely the WRONG time, even if it's the right thing to do.

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    5. I suspect it's just an issue of actually getting stuff to the stores. They were still working on that in the existing Acme (Shaw's and such) brands even prior to the new stores.
      After all with most of the new stuff being Safeway brands and their formerly quite small presence in the eastern US, they probably didn't have a lot of capacity when they suddenly had to start supplying a couple hundred new locations spread out from Maine to Maryland?

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    6. Even if Green Way was competitively priced, I found that the common labeling of it between organic foods and spray cleaning was off-putting, to say the least.

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    7. It's the same way at Stop and Shop/The Giants with Nature's Promise. One brand for all organic/earth friendly products. Even at Acme you can still buy a box of Essential Everyday mac and cheese and a bottle of Essential Everyday toilet bowl cleaner. And Green Way products were indeed very competitively priced.

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    8. We are seeing a similar phenomenon in legacy Safeway stores on the West Coast. Some products are branded "Safeway Select" or "Safeway Farms" while others are branded "Signature Select" and so forth. Albertsons seized an opportunity to grow its footprint buy acquiring A&P stores and they did. Smart business move. It just so happens they are also making transitioning from Supervalu's house brands to a modified version of Safeway brands. They ended their distribution relationship with Supervalu, so they really have no choice.

      It will be interesting to see whether Albertsons eventually rebrands the Mid-Atlantic Safeway stores to ACME. I suspect Alberstons will go away on the west coast in favor of the stronger VONS (Southern California and Nevada) and Safeway banners.

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    9. The one thing I've notice at the Acme, Acme Pharmacy, and Acme Sav-on store that I've been in is that there is no sign of the Signature Care brand yet. I've seen tons of Signature Kitchen, signature Home, and Lucerne, but as far as the H&B/Pharmacy brand it is still Equaline. Even the ads still list Equaline (from SuperValu), but everything else is the new brands.

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  2. See, I don't know if I'd consider it them not rolling out the new America's Choice logo to everything, I'd lean more toward them just being lazy with it. I remember seeing the new logo on stuff in 2012, and you'd figure it would've been rolled out companywide. But when I went to the Botany Plaza Pathmark for the last time, it stunned me to see the older AC logo. Made the product seem older and not as fresh.

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  3. Closest competition was a Pathmark to the west at Oakley and Cottman. There is also a small natural foods store close by, and the Target probably has pFresh.

    There is also an Acme on Roosevelt Blvd to the north of this location, across from Nazareth Hospital. But there is plenty of housing near both stores to support them both. It looks like a good location from Google Maps.

    The Oakley store looks like an original Pathmark.

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    1. Oakley was an original Pathmark, but it got the full Sav-A-Center decor package at the same time that Cottman went from a Super Fresh to a Pathmark.

      Also not far away is the Oxford Avenue Acme that had the Red/White/Blue decor package up until about two months ago (it now has Premium Fresh and Healthy v3) and a ShopRite.

      As for private label it's something that's going on across the whole of Albertsons, so I don't think it's something you can blame on Acme per se. It took about a year for Acme brand to transition to Essential Everyday, and given that the scale is much larger this time (EVERY private label product is changing from Supervalu to Safeway), it's going to take at least as long for private label to play out.

      Lastly, I'm wondering about pharmacy. The converted A&Ps have "Acme Pharmacy" - but legacy Acmes still dual-brand as Acme/Sav-on. There's even two versions of promotional signage being used depending on the location!

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    2. Could that be that in many cases they are simply using the existing Pharmacy signs from the A&P (or whichever brand it was)? Possibly an attempt to limit the number of new signs needed (as they are having trouble keeping up with the basic name ones)?

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    3. What what I've heard, Acme will eventally rebrand the Acme Sav-on stores to just Acme Pharmacy. The Acme circulars only uses "Acme Pharmacy" in the ads.

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  4. What made A&P convert SuperFresh locations into Pathmarks? Seems like money being spent for the sake of spending money. Did Pathmark mean lower prices? Did it actually make for lower prices?

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    1. A&P decided to make Pathmark their "price impact" chain. They thought they could revitalize the SuperFresh stores around Philly by converting them to "Sav-a-centers". For the rest of the existing Pathmarks, they slapped the word "SAVE" all over the place. Who knows if the prices were any better. I never noticed any more saving going on when I shopped at Pathmark. Kinda think the whole thing was a scam. Maybe the prices were better than A&P’s but certainly not better than Pathmark before A&P got their hands on them.

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    2. Prices between the chains were similar if not identical.

      I'd actually thought the idea was to make Superfresh into the 'higher-end' branding, leaving Pathmark for the proles.

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    3. The pricing at Pathmark seemed very good when A&P first took over and started with the 'Save' remodels, but with A&P's growing financial trouble, the prices over the last 5 years or so became no different than SuperFresh (extremely high).

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    4. From what I've read, prices at ACME (at least converted stores) have been just as expensive as the A&P stores. Hope it doesn't stay that way.

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    5. Not true. I shopped at Pathmark and A&P and now I'm shopping at several Acme conversions. Prices are significantly better. Many sale prices are better than ShopRite.

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    6. I can vouch. They really have made an effort to cut prices and it seems to have worked. I was quite impressed when I saw prices at the Clifton Acme dropping when they first rolled out the cuts. Too little too late to save the Clifton Acme, but still.

      I think there's a lot of people that aren't really realizing that Acme is getting a presence back in this area. I talk about how amazed I am that they were making all these purchases and whatnot and all they wanna seem to talk about is the stores in Clifton that closed.

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  5. I seriously hope Acme changes out these hideous aisle signs. I've always thought they were the worst looking ones out there. The ones in the A&P Fresh stores look light years better than these.

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    1. The converted stores will start getting full remodels after the holidays. Those awful aisle signs will be in the trash soon.

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  6. I know Acme was pressed for time in trying to get everything open in a three day span but could another reason be they want to be sure the individual location is actually profitable in the long run before sinking a massive renovation into it?

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    1. From what I read Acme was careful not to buy stores that weren't profitable. Midland Park, Allendale, Saddle Brook, Montclair, and Elmwood Park being on the list should tell you that they're not gonna have any problems with profitability because these stores were draws. Same thing with the Jersey City A&P.

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    2. Acme did not want to do any remodels at this time since it's the start of the busiest time of year for grocery stores. Remodels have a negative impact on business while they are in progress. Acme will begin remodeling the converted stores the minute the holidays are over.

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  7. Before I forget to ask (nobody else did)...what's down aisle 9 that's covered up on the sign?

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  8. In regards to the comment about "green" cleaning products, once the transition to legacy Safeway products is complete you might see the "Bright Green" line popping up at Acme. They are actually good products.

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  9. How long ago were the pictures taken while it was still a Pathmark? I stopped by 2 SuperFreshes last weekend in hopes of stocking up on America's Choice items. The only stuff they had left was milk. They were low on name brand products, too. I think A&P has completely out of money to restock the stores with. However, these stores were both on their last day of operation, so it may have just been ACME letting some unwanted stuff run out. Anyway, do other stores still have any America's choice left?

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    1. The before pictures are about 2 weeks old.

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    2. I found America's Choice chili powder still for sale at the Midland Park Acme...guess they forgot to remove it from the shelf....I also found AC laundry detergent at the newly opened Foodtown in Washington To

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    3. The larger stores which did no volume, and larger shore stores which are closing still have a lot of AC, Green Way and Via Roma stuff left. Brick A&P and Pathmark both had tons left (though no bags) last Friday, as well as giant Pathmarks in Parsippany and Hackensack. Plus if you are looking for Green Way or Live Better, Food Basics had tons of that stuff (coffee pods, dryer sheets, dish and hand soaps, OTC meds) left at 75% off this week.

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    4. If someone is looking to pick up America's Choice branded items, it would probably be wise to keep an eye out at the Big Lots/Ocean State/Ollie's and similar types of chains as it would be logical that whatever was left over could get sold to one of those type places?

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  10. North Brunswick a&p closes for good on either Wednesday or Thursday. This store and tinton falls have the same architecture style as north Brunswick. I think it looks good, but the pathmark logo doesn't stand out at all and the acme banner is hideous on it. Old Bridge's sign goes really well with the building.

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  11. the 2200 cottman has had many changes over the years
    there was a foodfair/pantry pride/ penn fruit/ a&p and i believe along there possibly on the other side of the street a storefront porcelain acme and nearby on the rt 1 theirs been many stores come and go this was a upscale neighborhood in the 1950s and 60s when Philly was a much better busy city with about 1 million more residents

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    1. Cottman & Castor had an Food Fair/Pantry Pride that was next door to Lit Brothers. The Penn Fruit was located at the Roosevelt Mall. The A&P was on Roosevelt Boulevard, it is now a K&G Mens Store. The original Acme on cottman avenue later was Play Town, Listening Booth, and currently Sears Auto Center.

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  12. Bumping this...

    Cottman Avenue is being remodeled to Quality Built. The remodel is almost done and it looks light years better than the awful, awful Sav-a-Center decor. The floral department is also becoming another Frosted Mug, bringing the total to three in the general area (Red Lion, Harbison, and now Cottman)

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