Friday, January 15, 2016

Acme – Warren, New Jersey

Location: 177 Washington Valley Road, Warren, NJ

Acme opened here on November 6, 2015, taking over a plain ol' A&P. The interior dates back to the 90's with A&P passing this store over during 4 rounds of "fresh" remodels. Acme must have seen some potential here that A&P hadn't. There doesn't seem to be any major competition in the nearby area aside from a King's just across the street.

A&P built this store back in 1979 and added an addition to the right side in the 90's. The store has an old-school A&P feel inside but doesn't feel painfully dated. I particularly like the double entrances at the front that lead into an open-air vestibule. Floral is front and center as you walk in.

Looking toward the vestibule and front windows. This store was planned to be the final post of 2015 which explains the ample selection of poinsettias.

Decent grab and go selection, just no signage to draw customers over to the area.

Even though the place is pretty dated, it's still bright, super white and clean!

Checkerboard patterns got a lot of mileage in the 90's.

So this was a fun find... the Kitchen Shop aisle still intact. Kitchen accessories mostly removed to make way for groceries.

The days of hanging merchandise above the cases is thankfully over.

Looking toward the front. The columns would seem to indicate where the addition meets the original store.

The Corner Bakery in the far back corner next to Cold Cuts.

The nearly invisible Café.

The "Fresh Obsessed" aisle markers still in place.

Nope. No Acme sign along the front-end.

Fascinating how the other store signs were designed to have the same shape as A&P's sign...

When I first arrived here, I thought the Walgreens was the original A&P in the center. Looks like a perfectly retrofitted Centennial store. Turns out... it's not. The Centennial-like roof line was added long after the center was first built in 1979.

The Acme in the upper righthand corner with King's in the lower lefthand corner.

Location: 64 Mountain Blvd, Warren, NJ 

Very attractive store from the outside. Not sure if King's has always been here or if the building started out as something else. 

Nicely remodeled King's store. Has the latest version of their "Where Inspirations Strikes" decor package.

For those not familiar with King's... the stores are on the small side with a focus on gourmet and higher-end brands. Prices are high but the stores are very nice and a fun place to go when you're looking for new things to try. Weekly shopping here is simply out of the question unless you enjoy being completely ripped off.

Only 8 aisles of groceries.

MASSIVE flag in the center of town. This picture doesn't really capture how cool it looks in person.


You can see the addition to the right side.




Yet to be expanded in 1995.


Under construction in 1979.


  1. Looks like the package A&P was doing in the late 1990s, the "Great (New) Store Next Door". There's a commercial on YouTube...

  2. The 2002 aerial shot almost made me think there was a pitched roof acme.

  3. The A&P Decor actually does feel kind of Acme like. Wouldn't look out of place in a lower end remodel job of a 80s store. A more upscale version of the Convenience Store Remodel perhaps?

  4. I would bet based on the lack of work done by ACME (No new lights, signs, or repainting), this store will be among the first they remodel.

    1. I agree. Maybe Albertsons is spending their money where it is needed first. The stores that already exist need to be brought upto a newer standard. Remodeling the 90s era stores with the Albertsons Marketplace may be among their higher prioriites now.

    2. The Albertsons Marketplace decor package is long dead and buried. The acquired stores will be getting either the Quality Built package or the 3rd round of Premium Fresh and Healthy, which is unfortunately still being used for remodels.

    3. What I think Steve G. is saying is that Acme/Albertsons' first priority now might be renovating stores that currently have the Albertsons Marketplace decor package, not that the newly-acquired stores will be getting the Albertsons Marketplace package.

    4. I think they mean "remodeling the Albertsons Marketplace era stores", not with that sort of décor.

    5. Ah... got it. Thanks for pointing that out.

    6. You have one or two 90s decor stores left, and a ton of early 2000s decor stores. Albertsons got a lot of stuff at once in this sale, they are going to have to be tactical about what store they remodel next. For example, Willingboro and Cape May Court House got remodeled recently, but you have Browns Mills and Mount Holly which are still sporting their first remodeled interiors to this day, the Albertson's Marketplace. Now i actually like the marketplace decor, it looks good, but is starting to get dated. To keep the good will going they will have to take the time to redo stores that need it first. The switchover from A&P to Acme style decor will probably wait, give the customers time to get used to a new brand in the area.

    7. Acme was planning to start remodels at the acquired stores right after the holidays. No word yet if they've actually started.

  5. The Patchogue, NY Waldbaums had a modified version of this decor (all the department signs were in plain lettering like the dairy or CS sign here). King Kullen took over this store in December, and they did a solid job refreshing the store with a nice paint job whilst keeping the decor largely intact.

  6. The Kings store used to be a FoodTown. I believe it sat closed for a while when they went under and eventually became a Kings. Still has the original floor from food town. As for the A&P, people still shop at this store because there really isn't much else around except the old Middlesex Acme "down the hill." Should be a pretty good store for Acme.

  7. The loss of kitchen gadgets under the kitchen shop signage was not an Acme change. Warren was one of their 'Fast Track' remodels where they reset the whole store (typically failing stores) in a last ditch effort to increase foot traffic and sales. It was also one of their last remodels in May before going back to regular resets and then the bankruptcy. The VPs reasoning was interesting, but it obviously didn't work. The exact same change (with the kitchen shop) happened in the Cliffwood (Matawan) A&P, the first store to be fast tracked.