Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abandoned Acme! Marlboro NJ

Still wrapping some unfinished business from 2009... I photographed this store last February on a cold and miserable winter day. Haven't put it up yet since it's not the most exciting former Acme out there and the pictures aren't that great. This was one of the first stores I photographed after launching Acme Style. Back then I wasn't as adventurous with the picture taking as I am now.

Located on Rt. 79 in Marlboro, New Jersey, this 2000's styled Acme/Savon closed on November 2, 2006... the same exact day as the Freehold store. (You can check out that store by clicking here.) Marlboro had been opened for all of 5 years but according to reports from the company had never made a profit. The Freehold store closed less than a year and half after opening and it too wasn't able to reach profitability. Both of these stores were built in an effort to reestablish Acme in the Central to North Jersey market area. Unfortunately the efforts were unsuccessful... due in large part to very poor choices of locations.

The awning has very similar look to the older A&P/Superfresh facades. Here you can see the Acme/Savon labelscar and the main entrance to the store.

If you look closely here, you can see the older Acme labelscar just under the arch. The sign was moved down when the Savon sign was added to the front of the store. The re-branding of the Acme Pharmacies as Savon began not long before this store closed.

Here you can see the labelscar after "Acme" was moved lower to allow space for "Savon".

The entrance... with the Blue and Brown Marketplace decor which was standard issue in the early to mid 2000's stores.

The exit... fortunately the inside doors were open. If they were closed the glare from the parking lot would have made interior shots virtually impossible.

If I hadn't know better, I would have sworn that this was an abandoned A&P. There are a few smaller stores located on either side of the empty Acme building.

A satellite shot from a sunny day... makes the shopping center look a little more appealing. There is a housing development to the rear but other than that, this shopping center felt like it was in the middle of nowhere.


  1. Acme also took over a former Super Fresh in Absecon, NJ. That one closed back in 2008.

  2. This store was never an A&P. It opened new as an ACME.

    I recall that for years before this store was built, it was rumored that this would be the location of a new A&P to replace the old store on the corner of 79 & 520. I don't remember at what stage it went from being a planned A&P to a planned ACME. Maybe the town had already approved the fascade before A&P backed out?

  3. Hello all. Back when Marlboro opened, this was a rural area with not much development along Rt. 79 in that area. Except for the huge homes in a housing development just behind the Acme it was just a country road between Rt. 18 and Freehold. As far as a ten year plan may go, the store was really starting to do well and the area was starting to expand.
    I feel that Acme would have done much better with lower prices. Another few years and more development was needed. (as it has already started)

    As far as their Absecon location goes, with all that Shoprite has done to Acme in the past ten years, why on earth would they move into an area that Shoprite controls? As we all see and know, Acme WILL NOT go toe to toe (as they used to do) with Shoprite and stores that are building in the area and chiping away at their market share.. (look at Millville, NJ and many other locations)
    If Acme intends to be here another decade, they MUST beat their competitors prices, not just match them...and stop closing the stores that built the company name. People will not show patronoge like they once used to when it comes to closing THEIR stores.

  4. It's been a while since Acme has offered something above and beyond the competition. Here in north NJ, the stores were always small and outdated. With higher prices than the competition, what was the incentive for people to shop at Acme? Brand loyalty and habitual shoppers can only get you so far. All I remember is them being the last store chain to walk away from old paper coupons but the first to give discounts without needing a card... that was a good first step when it came to being innovative. Too bad it didn't last. Instead of moving into new areas while remodeling older stores in good locations, they closed so many, failed to open new ones and continually lost market share. Now? What's the point?

  5. I live in Marlboro, NJ near this store and the few times I shopped in this store I noticed that the prices were very high. Also, on more than one occasion I would find expired food (yogurt, etc.) still on the shelves in the refrigerated section. There used to be another ACME years ago in Manalapan on Gordon Corner's Road which is now a gym. If these stores had more competitive pricing they might have done better because there are homes around them. Even Wegman's on route 9 which is in an optimum location tries to compete with Shoprite and Sam's club by having 'consistent low pricing' they make their money on their prepared foods which a lot of people seem to go there for nightly. For example, Wegman's charges $7.50 a lb for their Chinese food buffet, they have prepared soups, chile, pastas, pizza, chicken wings, etc. for people to stop there on their way home from work. Wegman's is always packed with customers. On the other hand they have club pricing on things like chicken breasts which go for $1.79 a lb in a 4 lb package. Their produce is usually very fresh, etc.

  6. Sounds like this store will be becoming a chinese supermarket

  7. And here

  8. The AFC asian supermarket has opened in about half of the former acme. From the pictures, it looks like they left up the Acme decor.

  9. The facade A&P used was the 90s Centennial front used in various stores such as Fairless Hills, PA (Now a Shop-Rite), and East Windsor, NJ(Divided between a unoccupied store and a Bottom Dollar)

  10. Here's some more pictures of the store. Most of the decor was just left there:

    But new aisle markers!