Saturday, April 3, 2010

90's Red, White and Blue

Apologies for the poor picture quality here. These were all taken with an old cell phone at the Morrisville PA store. Didn't realize how bad they were until I started preparing this post. I will be stopping by this store again soon for a reshoot. Unitl then...

Welcome to the 90's Red, White and Blue decor... part of a complete floor to ceiling reinvention of the Acme grocery store as we had known it to be. By the mid 90's, American Stores had finally gotten serious about building new stores and, more importantly, replacement stores to it's severely aging fleet. Up to this point, Acme had focused largely on remodels and expansions of existing stores which, despite all the efforts, still kept Acme lagging behind the competition. Enter the 90's "mega-store" concept...

The gigantic Quakertown store is a great example of the new 90's stores, dwarfing all other Acmes that have come before. The layout of the sales floor remained similar to the late 80's superstores... now super-sized with expanded service departments. The biggest change in the floor plan came with the relocation of Customer Service to the front and center of the store with double entrances and exits on either side. These new stores were built in and around the Philly market area never reaching into North Jersey, Maryland or Delaware.

The Produce alcove... an Acme staple for many many years running... continued on here, bigger and better than ever with the addition of huge arched windows to the rear.

Arches continuing to play a role for the third decor package in a row. Nice to finally see custom designed aisle markers to match the decor. Gone are the bulky plastic ones which hung in Acmes for decades.

The Red, White and Blue decor is gone now from most stores although not due to full remodels. Many stores received what's referred to as "repaints" which basically entailed a fresh coat of paint on the walls and a switching out of the department lettering.

The iconic red oval logo bit the dust sometime in the early 90's in favor of the block letter logo. This logo did not sweep very quickly through the chain. I may have first seen it in '93 or '94. The red lettering falls a little flat here on the brick facade. Acme has recently switched the logo to white on stores being remodeled with the "Premium Fresh and Heathly" decor.


  1. This one really does not look familiar.

    Any guess on the years that it was used?

  2. that is what my store, burlington used to look like. in 2006 we got the full remodel Premium Fresh and Heathly" decor. in terms of layour our store is one of the best. we still have the cutaway in the middle of the store so the isles are A and B. the willingboro acme still looks like this, worst decor ever, so outdated, the store is supposed to be remodeled, you could get some great pics at that store, it's bigger than the one in your pics. you forgot another type of decor. the mt. holly acme and the cinnaminson acme in nj have this early 2000s decor. acme sure has come a long way from the 80s.

  3. I work in the Willingboro store. It is a bit outdated. My store looks like the Morrisville PA store since it opened in 1993. The remodle was cut out of the budget. But, however, we are getting new lighting in the whole store in March. (HA HA) March came and went and nothing. I guess they want people to see how old looking the store is. I do like the Cinnaminson store the best with the open concept ceiling.

  4. I haven't forgotten the 2000's decor... we're only up to the mid 90's at this point.

    Is Willingboro still red, white and blue? I thought that was one of the stores that got a cheap repaint done to the interior.

  5. Living in northern NJ, I don't think I had ever seen that decor in a store. The only non-northern NJ stores I frequented were in Wildwood and Cape May and those stores never had that decor. To me it looks very cheap and uninspired- way too much white on the walls without much of anything to break up the monotony. The hanging light boxes are the nicest touch and that's an updated idea from the checkerboard arch decor- nothing very original.

  6. Keep in mind that the trend in the 90's in nearly all grocery store chains was white, white and more white. A&P and SuperFresh, Giant Food, and Weis Markets all went completely white in the 90's. My pictures aren't exactly doing the decor justice either.

  7. Oxford Avenue still has this decor, and I believe it was one of the few stores remodeled and expanded to this look instead of being built from the ground up. I think it's way better than a lot of the Albertsons ones they picked up later: bright and colorful instead of dark and dreary.

    Although Oxford looks like it needs a remodel, or at least a repaint. They still have "Floral" signage up, but the floral department hasn't existed for a years now.