Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Surprise! Surprise!

Acme store closing:
ACME / FORMER A&P, 
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ



Location: 907 Oak Tree Road, South Plainfield, NJ

A lot of us saw this coming. I sure did when I visited the store last month. The place was completely dead at 6:00 pm. The new ShopRite across the street has won over nearly every Acme shopper. News of the store closing was mentioned in an article on northjersey.com which covered the final day of the Bergenfield store. No closing date was given.

An interesting quote from the story... 

"Acme confirmed in September that it was closing the store, two years after it moved into the former Pathmark following the bankruptcy of the A&P and Pathmark chains. Industry experts at the time speculated that the chain, which paid $256 million to purchase leases on 76 A&P-owned stores, had reopened too quickly and missed an opportunity to differentiate itself from A&P."

Truth be told, Acme DID differentiate itself from A&P by reducing product selection and running the worst front-ends in the retail industry, let alone the supermarket industry. South Plainfield is the perfect poster child for everything that is currently wrong with Acme these days. You can run all the stunningly beautiful, super-clean, well-stocked stores you want but you're still not going to be successful if you offer horrible service and mediocre prices. As I've mentioned before, Acme's prices have improved but when you can still get better deals at Shop&Shop (and get checked out a lot faster) then why bother going to Acme?

Who's ShopRite coming for next... Elmwood Park! Plans are underway to open in the former Kmart just up the street. Check out the plans by clicking here.

Thanks to GSP163 for the link to the northjersey.com article!

25 comments:

  1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't all A&P conversion closures so far been former Pathmarks?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was just in that new ShopRite over the weekend. Great looking store. I certainly wouldn't choose ACME if I lived there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. An absolutely beautiful store! What a waste.
    Acme could’ve done a lot better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This marks the first store (I'm pretty sure) that has the Quality Built decor, that is closing. Painful to see! So sudden.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is Acme Style going to cover this store being Vacant with the QB Decor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, the answer is no. South Plainfield is difficult for me to get to. The trip home from this place wound up being TWICE as long as my GPS originally predicted. Considering this location was an Acme for only two years, it won't be worth another visit.

      Delete
    2. You just need to go to South Plainfield during off hours. 287 is a nightmare during rush hours.

      Delete
    3. I'm not going back. Too many other interesting things to cover out there. If someone wants to get pictures, I'd be happy to post them.

      Delete
  6. I wonder how many of these stores will survive. How soon will the store count be back to the low 100's. It's almost like they are playing a game or they just are not too smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They spent over $250 million on these stores so I don't think they're playing a game. I would have to go with... "they just are not too smart." So many mistakes made with taking over these stores. I'm working on a post with all of my opinions of what's gone wrong.

      Delete
  7. Here's a question. Why is ACME either unable or unwilling to compete with Stop & Shop? They're not going to compete with ShopRite, especially in north or central Jersey, but they're not going to stick around if they can't beat S&S.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think this is an absolutely stupid idea by whichever Shop Rite owner is considering this move (and it reeks of Inserra). Even if they do knock down the Kmart building (which they'll have no choice to do), you're gonna have truck traffic coming in and out of there way too often, which is gonna create quality of life issues for the surrounding neighborhood. And lemme tell you, there's not a lot of good access over there.

    Second of all, that part of Broadway/Rt. 4 is narrow as hell. So is Iozia Terrace, where the front door of the Kmart currently is. Plus there doesn't seem to be a lot of room to get out of the strip mall where Grand Union was, and ShopRite seems to want to funnel everyone in off of Iozia.

    Lastly, aren't there enough ShopRite stores in this area? Inserra's Fair Lawn and Lodi stores are within five minutes by car, their Wallington store is not too much further.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Look, every chain closes some stores every year, it's a fact if life in a competitive market like NY.This store was not showing any sign of making a profit. It's not a high volume store a Shop Rite is about to open and I don't care if you are Walmart, you are going to loose volume to them. Well then you have to ask your self two Questions, Is the rent favorable enough and is the store small enough to quickly turn product,so that we can make a profit. Simply this barn is to big to turn enough product quick enough to make a profit. That's why it is closing . You guys see beautiful store, but that product in that store is actually American Dollars. Sometimes it's better to get out then to stay. If this store was third smaller ,it might have survived.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bottom line... decades into the game, Acme has no idea how to compete with ShopRite.

      Delete
    2. Agreed but the issue is that Acme snatched up a bunch of stores and doesn't know how to run them. The prices are high, and that's made more obvious by the fact that Acme has to repeatedly advertise they are lowering prices. Again. And again. The front ends are a disaster, making the shopping experience intolerable. It shouldn't be that way. Why spend a quarter of a billion dollars to buy a bunch of stores and then millions more to remodel them if the company isn't going to make them places people want to spend money?

      Delete
  10. So I think we have a consensus that Acme cannot compete with ShopRite. They won't try to compete with Stop&Shop, I know in Putnam that ShopRite, Stop&Shop and Hannaford are killing them and Acme is often viewed as a large overpriced "7-11" I really think Alberstons was naive in entering the NY/NJ market and they just assumed that they would keep A&P customers. WRONG. So my question is, now what? If a beautiful store such as this one scheduled to close cannot and will not compete with Shop Rite or Stop&Shop, why even bother?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A&P really didn't have any customers to keep. Albertsons should have known that.

      Delete
    2. It all depends on which stores.
      One that comes to mind is the farthest north one in Pleasant Valley - while there are other stores in other towns not too far off (but, aside from Stop & Shop not the easiest places to get to), it is the only one there so the convenience is going to get it some business.

      They might have been better, though, if they took all 3 A&P's in that corridor (that one and Hopewell Jct. that they did but also the LaGrange one in between that they didn't, allowing ShopRite (I think?) to come into the area.

      Delete
    3. Acme in Delaware competes with Shop Rite and holds their own. Why the store in North Jersey are not run as well as theine in Philly and De is obvious Acme had enough employees and managers to blend into the aquired stores to run them.Unfortunately that was not possible up north and this us the results.

      Delete
    4. But we can't blame former A&P and Pathmark managers and employees for Acme's problems in North Jersey. Two years later and many of these North Jersey stores ran better BEFORE Acme took over!

      Delete
  11. ShopRite opened less than 5 miles down the road from the Hopwell Jct. A&P/Acme in the former LaGrange A&P. A&P did very well in many areas like Dutchess with their three remaining stores and in Putnam County as well. They had great sales and competed with ShopRite, Grand Union, Stop&Shop and the stores in these two counties were relatively new and clean. A&P was well known in a Westchester Putnam and Dutchess and they did have a loyal following, myself included. ShopRite in Lagrangville is owned and operated by Wakefern. They gutted the whole interior and even though the Hopewell Acme was renovated, the prices were still higher than ShopRite. Where would you go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is why it's a bit of a surprise that they didn't take all three stores to prevent just this situation with ShopRite coming in...

      Delete
    2. ShopRite would just find another way. If they want to open a store somewhere they will.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure they could, but they have been in the surrounding areas for many years (back to when they were Big V before going bankrupt and corporate taking them over) and they never did expand to that area, so it just seemed silly to give them the easy option.

      Delete
  12. I’m pretty sure William that LaGrange was part of a pkg. Wakefern wanted all those Philly stores for Green Grocer. They also picked up Danbury Ct., a 65,000 sq ft. store operated by the Cingari family. Old fashioned decor but low prices and great customer service. Big V expanded up
    the route 9 corridor and never east to LaGrange you are correct. Wakefern is running these SR to compete and win! They’ve even re entered the capital region building new stores from the ground up. Acme cannot compete with SR. SR/Wakefern is also building a new 65K sq ft store across the street from the Mohegan Lake Acme. This replaces an older store down the road but will nonetheless be another thorn in an empty Acme Market’s side.

    ReplyDelete