Saturday, February 6, 2010

Final Days: Acme, Jersey City NJ

The Jersey City store, located at 16 Garfield Avenue, closed on January 31, 2010. You can read more about the closing of this store in a former post by clicking here. All caught up? Well then, let's take a look inside...

The Produce alove located just inside the entrance. This shot was taken facing the front of the store. The entrance is to the right along the far wall.

You can see the 80's checkerboard floor still in place. The 80's wall decor was changed out in the early 2000's... or maybe I should say stripped out. There wasn't much decor put in to replace what was there. The Produce walls looking pretty drab.

The curved ceiling sections were standard issue in late 70's and 80's stores. Found mostly in the Produce and Bakery departments. These sections were removed in stores that received significant remodels in the late 90's to 2000's.

The decor package here is not seen too often... it seems to have been used mostly in the remaining smaller neighborhood stores. The very last pitched-roof store in Clayton NJ has similar decor as does the store in St. Michaels Maryland, which I have yet to visit. The decor in Clayton has a little more life to it.

One of the odd aspects of this decor... and there are many to come... is that the names of the departments are not spelled out on the walls. The one exception of the "Delicious Deli" which will be along shortly.

Another unusual aspect of this store is the location of the Dairy department. It runs along the first aisle... not to be confused with aisle 1... just beyond the Produce department.There is a framed picture here on the wall that says "Dairy Market". The other framed pictures around the store are old black and white photos of buildings which I believe are all located in Jersey City.

So check this out... aisle 1 is actually aisle 3, or at the very least... aisle 2. How can that be? Keep in mind we just came from the Dairy aisle which is the first aisle. It must have been a nightmare directly people to aisle 1 since there are two. I have been know to be completely flabbergasted at the decisions Acme makes when it comes to the interior design and layout of their stores. There often seems to be a lack of thought put into things.

The Delicious Deli is the only department to be clearly spelled out on the walls. If you look closely you can see the aisle markers say "Acme Markets... Jersey City's Best"

Looking towards the checkout stands. This store was slamming busy on this particular night. Not sure if it was always that way or just because of the 33% off sale.

Shelves emptying out as the Acme winds down another location...

The curved ceiling section above the Bakery as mentioned earlier. Notice how high the ceilings are in this store. All the more reason to put some more exciting graphics and colors on the walls... in my opinion anyway.

Aisle 8. But really 10. No? Oh... where's the milk? In the first aisle... which is not to be confused with aisle 1. Hoping FineFare gets this all straightened out before they open.

It's looks as though this store has an in-store Bakery but it's not set up like a service department. This too I find confusing. Hopefully someone can let us know. It looked as though there were some fresh baked products and there is a room located behind the bakery racks which could house some ovens.

A final look outside...

FineFare is coming soon! Goodnight Acme...

UPDATE 2.20.10: FineFare is now open! They store remained closed for 2 weeks but has now re-opened. Renovations are still underway and will continue for quite sometime.

UPDATE 2.10.10: Pictures of the Jersey City way back in 1998, with it's original awning color and 80's red oval logo...

Images above courtesy of Rob Ascough

UPDATE 9.24.10: Pictures of Fine Fare have arrived...

The front of the store looks great! Big pictures of fresh food items in the front windows and foyer. Although the front of the store has lots of indications that this is a "Fresh" store, the selection inside does not come close to what other "Fresh" themed stores carry. In fact, this store is just a plain old grocery store very few fresh offering.

The Produce Department is a big step up from Acme. Vastly improved decor, cases and merchandising.

Fine Fare's remodel included new decor, new cases and new flooring throughout. Little to no structural changes were made. The Acme's bones still intact. 

The black and white photos were left in place around the store. Some much needed color was added to the walls which completely changes the atmosphere of the store. Hard to believe Acme couldn't spring for some new paint to freshen the place up years ago. 

Bright orange along the back of the store.

The flooring is varied throughout the store. The aisles have a faux stone look to the floor.

My impression of Fine Fare is that it focuses on the basics.

Compare the frozen food aisle to how it looked in the Acme days. Huge improvement.

The Bakery to the right here has mostly prepackage baked goods. There looked to be a better selection than Acme but still a far cry from "fresh" selections.

The cash register stands may be left over from Acme. The register lights most certainly are.

Slow start to this late Sunday morning. Very few people in the store. The atmosphere of the inside is light years ahead of Acme's but I can't attest to the selection and pricing. 

A very different scene then the times I was here back in the Acme days. Not sure if this place is going to make especially with some much larger supermarkets nearby.


  1. Quite a unique interior layout at this store. Sucks to see another one go...I hope they open some new locations soon, they haven't opened one since 2007.

  2. I wouldn't count on it, at least not in the north NJ area. With another store closing in the near future, there's no telling how long Acme will even remain in the area. So many missed opportunities that got the company to where it is today. Kings has always been able to make money with smaller stores- you mean to tell me that stores in nice, high-profile locations like New Providence, Springfield, North Plainfield and Montclair couldn't survive with moderate investment?

  3. I could be wrong but I believe the last new Acme to open was the one in Limerick, PA. That particular store is struggling mightily. Off the record I have heard that the store does less then $200,000 per week, Meanwhile there is a Giant right across the street that was doing $1,000,000 a week before the Wegmans opened in Collegeville, Now the Giant is doing somewhere in the vicinity of $800,000 and there is a Giant roughly 3 miles up the street that does around $600,000. Acme closed their Collegeville location because Wegmans was coming and because they hoped to boost their Limerick location. Acme really needs to get their act together soon. Giant is opening their first Philadelphia location within the next 2 years. It perplexes me that Acme is owned but their wholesale grocer yet their prices are significantly higher then all of their competitors. Acme has this mindset that people will shop there because its Acme, but that is not the case anymore. Giant and Shop-rite are ready and able to take the top spot in the Philadelphia area. I read somewhere that Shop-rite wouldn't be able to technically take the top spot because they are franchises and owned by different people but one day very soon Giant will take the top spot and Acme will become yet another retail memory...

  4. Hey, maybe A&P will buy Acme and sink them even worse like what they did with Pathmark!

    ...ha, no, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

  5. Anon... you are 100% correct about your comments on the Limerick store. ShopRite is very close to taking the top spot in Philly although I think Giant is still a long way off even though they are moving into the area. Their planned Philly store will impact several Acmes. Bad news for the high-volume King of Prussia store... Wegmans is building a new store just down the street. Acme doesn't stand a chance their. They've had many stores go from $500,000 plus in sales to below $200,000 in just the past few years and they still don't seem to get it. SuperValu isn't helping either... they're more interested in having Sav-a-lot succeed in Philly even if it means stealing customers away from Acme.

    1. ShopRite is now the top supermarket, in terms of sales, in both the Philadelphia and New York City areas. I can understand why -- the stores, while not consistently new and modern, do have some great values and often (though not all the time) customer service far exceeds any other store in the area.

  6. Sadly, Fine Fare failed. Now is Twin City Supermarket.

  7. I was just there the other day, and it's now a Twin City market. They got rid of the old facade, and they shortened the first aisle to expand the deli counter into a neat rounded shape, but other than that, it's still the same store. The awnings and colors from FineFair remain, although the awnings read "Twin City", and they still have the pictures from the Acme days. One oddity, though, is the lack of aisle markers.