Friday, January 23, 2009

Acme — Newton, New Jersey

Location: 11 West Nelson Street, Newton NJ

This store is scheduled to close for good on February 25, 2009. One of four Acme stores that will be closing.

This store received the chain-wide remodel of the mid 80's. The Newton store was one of the last Acmes to be remodeled in North Jersey. Some stores, such as Sparta and Clifton, were passed over completely and kept their 70's colonial decor well into the 90's. The red oval logo was added in the 80's although all of the green sections were dark brown. They were painted green sometime in the late 90's or early 2000's. Strange that the sign was not updated to Acme's current logo. Many stores received this green treatment with the new logo regardless of any improvements made to the interior. This store did receive the "convience store" treatment which basically entailed removing any of the departments that were added during the 80's remodel such as the Seafood Department (if it was even still open for full-serice), salad bar, cheese from around the world and Floral Department. The 80's wall decor was also replaced with the blue and beige wall graphics that can be seen below.

Outstanding location for the security lights! The Produce alcove was added during the mid 80's remodel. You can see where the wall used to be on the left-hand side of the photo (the corner right next to the plants). Most stores of this size had the Produce alcove added during the 70's remodel. That was not the case in this store.

Get your smoked meats! The Floral Department of the 80's remodel was located on the right where the mac and cheese shelving is now. The full-service Seafood Department added in the 80's was located at the end of the aisle where the self-serve cases are now.

Now serving #69. Really? Notice the blue stripe to the right of "Deli" has fallen off.

The air vents have caused "Meats" to be encrusted in black fuzz. Yum.

Aisle 8: Dairy. The last aisle in the store. The "Dairy" wall graphics don't quite make it to the end of the Dairy Department.

Very small in-store Bakery. The lattice is a relatively new touch. Notice the red block to the left of "Bakery" has fallen off.

Prior to the mid-80's remodel, this are was where the customer service desk and store office was. The office is now much small and is located behind the bakery. The customer service department was replaced with the "CSR" stand that was located at the opposite end of the registers near the Produce dept. The CSR stand has long been removed and the express register now also serves as customer service.

The CSR stand was an integral part of the mid-80's remodel but did not make any sense whatsoever. I believe they also referred to this as the "California front-end". Guess it was popular in Skaggs or something. The odd thing was that store safe was next to the CSR stand right out in the open. No walls or even a railing guarding it from anyone. Not that the safes were unlocked but it just didn't seem like a wise idea to expose the safes to everyone entering the store. Fortunately in the 90's Acme reestablished the customer service counter and office in remodels and new stores.

UPDATE 2.10.10: Here's a snow-free look at the Newton store circa 1999...

Images above courtesy of Rob Ascough

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Acme Super Saver!

Here's a rare find... a picture of an Acme Super Saver. This image comes to us courtesy of Wyomming Valley Photo Blog... an extensive site of pictures and history of stores in the Wyomming area of Pennsylvania. Please check the Acme Style directory for a link to the site.

Location: 401 Kennedy Blvd, Pittston PA

This store was located in Pittston Pennsylvania. It started out as a pitched-roof Acme and was converted to a Super Saver in the 70's. The awning was added at this time and disguises the pitched roof. I was able to get an image of the rear of the store on google map's street view. (See below) This store remained a Super Saver well into the 80's. You can see proof of this on the "Low Prices" banner which has the updated Acme logos of the mid '80s.

The back of the store.

Here it is after an update which probably occurred in the mid to late 90's.

Most likely closing in the late 90's to early 2000's.

Insalaco's taking over.

January 2006

Bruno's with a fresh coat of paint.

Bruno's closes in 2008

Quinn's opens in late 2008. Here's the amazing part of the story... according to Wyomming Valley Photos, the interior pitched-roof is still intact to this day! A drop ceiling has not been added after all of this time. I wonder how many other Acmes have gone through so many transformations and still have the pitched-roof intact.

Thanks again to Wyomming Valley Photos for the images and for this history of this store!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Check it out... Acme Style!

This is a one in a million find on youtube. It's actually only part of a longer video for a TV station in Philadelphia. I managed to extract just the Acme commercial.

This ad campaign from the early 90's is the inspiration for this blog. I personally believe it was the best campaign Acme has ever had. You couldn't help but to get the energetic jingle stuck in your head. Unfortunately this commercial does not have the full lyrics. When the campaign first started, the slick commercials portrayed in-store experiences of Acme shoppers while the the theme song played throughout. Here is a sampling of the lyrics as I remember...

Check it out!
You're gonna love our prices...
Check it out!
You're gonna love our smiles...
Check it out!
You're gonna love all the money you save when you...
Check it out Acme Style!

Other memorable tag lines...
Tell a friend
Your store for low prices
Take a New Look (launched after the massive chain-wide remodel of the mid 80's)

Please share any other you may remember!

Another Acme Coming Soon!

Location: 300 West Oregon Ave, Philadelphia PA

A pitched-roof Acme ready for it's Grand Opening! This store is most likely not an Acme anymore... if the building is even standing.

The Ideal Acme of the 60's

This rendering appeared on the back of Acme's courtesy card application well into the 90's. This style of Acme is referred to as the "pitched-roof" style. Stores like this were built throughout the 60's and very early 70's mostly in Pennsylvania. Many of these buildings still stand today but have been converted from Acmes to other retailers. This style of Acme is a favorite here at the Acme Style Blog and will be the focus of many posts to come.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Store Closings

After suffering losses of nearly 3 billion dollars, SuperValu announced the closing of 50 stores across the country. 4 of the stores to be closed are Acme Markets. They include the following locations:

Ambler, PA
West Chester, PA
Collegeville, PA
Newton, NJ 

The Ambler store appears to be a classic 50's styled Acme with no major renovations over the years. It's surprising that this location has not closed sooner. The West Chester store on Rt. 322  is a different story. It opened in 2004 but had the unfortunate luck of being located close to a Giant Food Store. Giant is known for it's aggressive pricing and huge selection. The chain continues to spread eastward into Acme's territory. The Collegeville store first opened in 1967 and relocated to a larger space in the mid 70's. The store was expanded and remodeled in the mid 90's. This location also has competition from two nearby Giants.

The Newton store opened in the late 50's. A classic stand alone Acme in a residential neighborhood. The store received the extensive mid 80's remodel that swept most of the chain. The interior was expanded slightly but the store remained small with only 8 aisles. In the late 90's the department signage was upgraded to the blue and beige "convenience store" look with no other upgrades. The red oval logo remains on the outside of the store. I will be posting pictures of this store soon.

Ambler will close later this month. West Chester, Collegeville and Newton are scheduled to close on February 25.

A classic 50's Acme

(Image courtesy of John Flack)

Location: 1102 North White House Pike, Stratford NJ

This is how the store in the rendering below would have looked when it was built. A classic 50's-early 60's Acme. As these stores continued to be built, the script logo was made smaller and smaller. I remember the Acme in my town had this logo and several of the letters had fallen backwards.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the Acme Style Blog begins...

(Image courtesy of Pleasant Family Shopping)

This rendering shows the style of Acmes built throughout the 50's and earlu 60's as grocery stores moved off of main street and into stand alone locations. This prototype gave way to the pitched-roof style of the mid to late 60's which is a favorite here at the Acme Style Blog.