Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from Acme Style!

As you may have noticed, it's been a slow month here at Acme Style. Turned out that I needed a little break from everything Acme after crafting the massive Wyoming Valley collection in November. I also need to head out for another road trip but haven't had a chance to do that this month. But trust me... I have tons of new posts in the works. Lots of abandoned Acmes, former Acmes and Bonus Stores to come in 2010. So until then, this blog will be on a bit of a break. Please check back in January for new posts! Until then... I wish all of my Acme Style readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Update to a former Acme Style Bonus Store!

The brand-new Stop and Shop in Clifton, New Jersey. The old store was torn down and replaced with an entirely new building. It had closed back in February and reopened in this November. You can take a look at the "before" pictures by clicking here.

The new sign stands on the same spot as the old one.

The back of the store which you see when come off of Route 3. This is the area where the Sam Goody once stood.

The red line is an approximation of where the new building stands.

And now for some interior shots... taken with my cell phone so the quality isn't great. For the record, Stop and Shop is not one of my favorite places. The new decor and branding they have rolled out recently doesn't make me want to shop there any more than before. I find their look to be overly generic and bland. The use of the fruit bowl logo everywhere is a little too similar to Target's bulls-eye, yet makes much less sense. I preferred the look and atmosphere of the old store which retained much of it's look from the former Grand Union.

Meals to go, Deli and Bakery line the left side of the store. Produce cases are to the left. I took a picture of that are but have some how lost it. I am standing in the health food department which is about 3 short ailes to the rear of Produce.

A drab looking front end.

The department signage is the same color scheme and look throughout the store.

The milk is along the back wall. Frozen Food cases are to the left of this picture.

Health and Beauty is in the front right-hand corner of the store along with the Pharmacy.

This is about the most exciting thing that separates Stop and Shop from it's competitors. Portable self scanners. You scan each item and put it right in the bag. Sounds like fun but still not enough of a reason to shop here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Former Acme — Ambler, Pennsylvania

Image courtesy of Josh Austin

The Ambler Acme closed in January of 2009. It was one of 4 stores to close earlier this year after SuperValu had announced record losses. I don't have the full story on this store although my suspicion is that Acme may have pulled the plug after CVS expressed interest in the location. There have been several Acme closings this year that have occurred for reasons other than profitability.

Not sure of the interior decor at this location. If you look closely you can see the produce lights which were brought in during the Checkerboard Arch decor-upgrade in the early to mid 90's. I have read reviews online that said the interior of this store was in bad shape. Smelly even. One person said the store was in desperate need of TLC.

An interesting note about the front of the store... all of the windows remained intact til the very end. Most store of this style had the windows to the right removed and covered over to increase shelving space inside. This was commonly done during the remodels of the 70's. The only other store I have seen of this type with the windows intact is the abandoned Washington, New Jersey store. Click here to take a look. The Washington location has the Checkerboard Arch decor and you can see the produce lights there that hard to see here.

Thanks to Josh for allowing Acme Style use of his pictures. He has photographed nearly every Acme that has ever existed. You can check out his flickr photostream by clicking here. And his Acme collection by clicking here.

I had hoped to make it to this store before Acme closed and then before CVS got it hands on it. Obviously I didn't make it. This building looks to be a larger version of this style of Acme that was commonly built in the 50's and 60's.

The right side of the store with the old produce recieving doors covered over. This was frequently done to create the produce alcove years after the original construction. Notice there are no break room windows along the top which was customary in this type of Acme building. The break room and employee bathrooms were moved to the back of the store as these late 50's styled buildings evolved. I photographed this store way back in the spring... wasn't as adventurous as I am now with taking pictures of every possible angle of the buildings. You can see the CVS drive-up window under construction at the back corner.

It looks as though CVS is taking over the entire building which would made for an unusually large CVS. These days... bigger is always better.

Image courtesy of Josh Austin

CVS has arrived. The store opened with work still needing to be done.

The wrap around awning was a classic feature in these old Acmes occurring almost exclusively to the left side of the store. Produce always over on the right side.

I'm always amazed to see these older Acmes crammed into the most unlikely of locations. Houses within feet of the store. The back corner cut at an angle to leave some space between the Acme and a church.

These loading docks were most likely added long after the original construction of this store.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Former Acme — East Brunswick, New Jersey

Image courtesy of Michael Lisicky

East Brunswick Acme Markets circa 1982. Looks like it was in pretty bad shape back then and probably one of the only locations still sporting the old script logo in the 80's. The larger store down the strip is a former J.J. Newberry. I'm not sure where this strip mall was located and what is in it's place today. There are far too many strip malls in East Brunswick to even make a guess where this one was.

UPDATE 12.01.09: Below is an aerial shot of where the East Brunswick Acme once stood. Billy left a comment with the address and news that the building had been torn down and replaced with a bookstore. I can see on Google Maps that it is now a Borders bookstore. If the building was completely replaced it appears to have the same footprint of the former Acme building. Interesting to compare the size of the former Acme with the ShopRite just behind it. Oh how times have changed.

And a photo of how the store looks today...

Photo courtesy of Dan Asnis

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Updates to Wyoming Valley Posts

Image courtesy of Wyoming Valley Blog

I have posted some more pictures in the Wyoming Valley Acme collection. Post with updates include:

Shickshinny: Unbelievable image of what the store looked like originally.

Luzerne: New street level picture.

Kingston: The Acme building is still standing! Street level pictures have been added.

Avoca: New street level picture showing the facade that now disguises the pitched-roof.

The advertisement above shows Acme's special Sunday hours after the Wyoming Valley flood of 1972. Several locations were damaged during the flood and had to be closed for repairs. You can see flood damage in the Edwardsville and Midway Shopping Center pictures.

The ad also lists the new Super Saver store at the Wilkes-Barre Mall which was not yet built when the "There's a friendly Acme Market near you!" was printed in 1969. It's a bit of mystery why the Pittston store was not shown on the map but is now mentioned in this ad of '72. The Pittston store was a pitched-roof store which replaced a smaller store located on Main Street.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

News Break:
Employees have voted in support of a possible strike planned for November 19th. Workers have been without a contract April. The strike would affect 28 Acmes and would start a week before Thanksgiving. Hopefully thing can be worked out before then. For more details you can check out the articles listed below:

UPDATE 11.19.09: The strike is now set for Friday night if an agreement on health-care benefits cannot be worked out. Will Acme allow employees to walk out on the eve of one of the biggest grocery shopping weekends of the year?

UPDATE 11.21.09: Strike adverted... for now. Talks are still underway and a new deadline has been set for this Monday at 12 am.
UPDATE 11.25.09: Strike adverted... again! And this time it is looking like a deal will be worked out soon between Acme and the Union. Click the link below for more details...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Acme - Wyoming Valley's Largest Retail Food Distributor!

Well not anymore. In fact, every Acme that is pointed out on this map is long gone. Acme has spent the past several decades retreating to the Philadelphia market where it has always been the undisputed number one food retailer, although probably not for much longer.

This ad is from the Wilkes-Barre Record 03.25.69 edition and comes to Acme Style courtesy of JSF0864's photostream on flickr. You can check out John's incredible collection by clicking here. His photostream is a must-see especially for the A&P fans out there.

So what I have done here is taken John's image of this Acme ad and tracked down nearly every store on the map. I was able to accomplish this with the help of another friend of Acme Style... James from the Wyoming Valley Photos blog has granted me permission to use his photos here on Acme Style. Turns out he has pictures of nearly every store on this map, some as the appear today and some as they appeared in their Acme days. You can check out his full blog by clicking here. To see just his Acme photo collection and commentary you can click here. Below you will see 17 separate entries starting with Shickshinny in the upper left-hand corner of the map and ending with Avoca in the lower right-hand corner. I've included aerial shots of all the stores along with the photos. Each entry lists the address as it appears on the map.

There are 3 stores that remain a mystery:
7 Main St., Luzerne
691-93 Carey Ave., Wilkes-Barre
619 Wyoming Ave., Kingston

Mysteries solved! Updates have been made to the above entries. Thanks to Mikeg for the information regarding these locations!

I have pieced the region together as best I could with the pictures, addresses and other information I had. Hoping for 100% accuracy here but I may have made some mistakes along the way. Please share with us any information you have on these former Acmes or if any of my Acme's of the Wyoming Valley information is incorrect. Enjoy!

And special thanks to John and James for allowing their images to be shared here at Acme Style!

Shickshinny – 32 East Union Street

Images above courtesy of Wyoming Valley Blog

Nanticoke – West Main Street

Images above courtesy of Wyoming Valley Blog

Nanticoke - Dundee Rd.

Plymouth – 501 Main Street

Images above courtesy of Wyoming Valley Blog

Mountaintop - Rt. 309

Image courtesy of Wyoming Valley Blog

Wilkes-Barre - 691-93 Carey Ave

Edwardsville - Gateway Shopping Center

Images courtesy of the Wyoming Valley Blog