Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jersey Shore Acme, Cape May Court House, NJ

Cape May Court House pictures courtesy of Rob Ascough

The Cape May area of New Jersey has four Acme Markets. We've already visited the old pitched-roof store in Cape May and we're now moving on to this Acme located in the small town of Cape May Court House. The two other locations will, unfortunately, have to wait until next summer's tour. This year's Jersey Shore Tour cannot be extended and must come to end by Labor Day Weekend.

As we will see below, this building did not start out as an Acme. The Acme was originally located at the other end of the shopping center. The facade seen here was used frequently during the 90's on stores that were remolded and expanded. I'm not sure if there were any brand new Acmes built with this exterior look. All the stores that I have researched with this look were older Acmes that were given significant make-overs. If anyone knows of any Acme's built from the ground up with this facade please let us know in the comments section.

The interior here is the basic Albertson's Marketplace decor. The floor tiles indicate that this store started out with the 90's Red/White/Blue decor package.

Among other elements missing in the basic decor package are the blue light boxes on the walls above the service departments. The color scheme here is also lighter than the original Alberstons look.

The aisle markers here match those of the Industrial Circus Decor. You can see an example from the Tuckerton store here. I have seen these aisle markers in other Albertson's Marketplace stores. So the question is... did they carry this design over to the newer decor package or were the Industrial Marketplace aisle markers upgraded to the new look? Notice too how the slope up on the ceiling is painted a light green. This slope is very common in stores built or remodeled in the late 80's throughout the 90's. Most stores now have this slope painted green which makes for a very nice effect throughout the store.

"Beer • Wine • Liquor" along the awning. One of the few Acmes that carry alcohol. I believe this is more common in Maryland and Delaware stores. Big selection of beach supplies here too.

The current Acme location.

And the original Acme at the other end. A former pitched-roof store that has been morphed into the shopping center.
We'll see down below how the old pitched-roof was stripped down to just the walls and roof.

Now a Marshall's. It may have been other stores over the years judging from the scars on the back of the store.

Peaked roof still visible from the parking lot.

Many of the former Acme's features in the back have been removed over the years.

Looks as though the back has been reconfigured a couple of times now. Missing too is the section that normally sticks out of the top of the pitched section. These sections usually remain when stores are converted for other uses.

2002 much like today.

Back in 1995 the Acme appears to still be in the pitched-roof building. Perhaps the larger store is a Kmart. I would guess maybe a Jamesway but the chain was gone by 1995.

UPDATE 8.26.10: Jamesway was officially out of business by December 1995. According to a comment from Bill, this building was a Jamesway and Acme opened in the location on June of 1996.

Interesting to see a trees in 1970 with a pitched-roof still on it's way. That store model had been retired by the 70's. Maybe the shopping center had been planned by this point but not yet constructed.

Super Fresh right across the street. Much smaller than the Acme.


  1. The Morris Plains store that received the Industrial Circus decor package didn't get those hanging aisle markers- I think they were originally flat panels and incorporated bare corrugated metal into the design. I'm not sure if the aisle markers featured in this store were ever part of the Industrial Circus decor package- maybe it's possible they're featured in the Tuckerton store because that store was expanded after it received the Industrial Circus decor package and thus needed more/new aisle markers?

    I believe this is one of two Acme stores in New Jersey selling beer, wine and liquor (the other is North Cape May, which I assume will be part of next summer's tour?)

    I'd be interested to learn if that pitched roof building at the other end of the shopping center was an Acme store. Aside from the building not having been built until way after the era of the pitched roof Acme, everything makes sense. Plenty of Acme stores were replaced with newer ones at opposite ends of their shopping center homes when they needed more upgrades than the original structures could accomodate. It also makes sense that Acme would have wanted this location for decades. There is very little retail space on the barrier island that's home to Avalon and Stone Harbor so a location on the mainland just over the bridge from the island would have been more convenient to most vacationers than stores in Wildwood (to the south) and Sea Isle City (to the north).

  2. The current Cape May Court House Acme was indeed a Jamesway. It closed right before the chain went belly-up and Acme moved in a year or so later. The pitched roof store was vacant for a few years until Marshalls moved in.

    As for the Super Fresh across the street, it opened a couple of years before the Acme moved into Jamesway's old building. It actually was a bigger replacement store for an older one which was located next to the TJ Maxx/Homegoods store(which was formerly an Ames). The old Super Fresh was knocked down and is now just open land.

  3. So the pitched roof structure that is currently a Marshalls was indeed an Acme?

  4. This 65,000 square foot store opened on June 30, 1996, just 12 weeks after Acme took possession of the closed Jamesway Discount Department Store! Not sure what the decor package was, but maybe the red, white, and blue look. Sales exceeded expectations.

  5. Looks exactly like Mt Holly

    That store also opened in the mid 90s and the small acme moved into a vacant Jamesway (I think?) at the other end of the shopping center

  6. Also looks like Bridgeton. That shopping center also has a disguised pitched roof store at the other end

  7. I wish Acme had done the same thing in Hammonton, NJ, where there was also a Jamesway/Acme plaza.

    Instead? Acme closed down altogether in 1999, and ShopRite took over the old Jamesway in 2002. Soon after, the old Acme was divided up between an Advance Auto Parts and a Chinese Buffet.

    The store did decent business, and Acme had been in the town since the 1950's. It must have just been Albertson's not wanting any of the smaller stores.

  8. Acme dosen!t have any stores in Delaware that sell Beer or hard Stuff. It is against DE law.
    They do have Liqour department is St Michaels
    and at the Easton Maryland stores.

  9. Just an update to this post- the pitched roof building at the northern end of the shopping center was not Acme's previous Cape May Court House location. The previous Acme still stands on Route 9, southeast of the current Acme and immediately south of a McDonalds. It was a 1950's store but doesn't look much like one these days as some kind of structure housing offices was added to the front of the building, removing pretty much all obvious signs it was an Acme.

  10. The hammonton store did not survive because the company did not want it they cut back the hours there so bad it was impossible too survive ,you can not survive on mostly kids stocking the shelves ,they transferred me and 3 others to a egg harbor because they needed the help , wrong that store could have been ran with 3 full timers

  11. i have a question, out of all the shore store locations near and in cape may, is this the only one that carries alcohol? not because i want it but i'm curious since based on the photographs it looks different than the acme in cape may i get to once in a blue moon when i vacation. it might just be the photographs, if not than it is the acme i am thinking of.

  12. A similar situation happened in Mt. Holly when in 1995-96 Acme moved their 50's store that was 25,150 Sqft (large for the time) to the old Jamesway building at the other end of the shopping center. Acme put the exact same awning on the New Mt.Holly store that this one has. Mt. Holly is also about 65,000 Sqft, and has the basic Albertsons Market Place Decor. Started out with the Red,White,& Blue.

  13. I was discussing with the owner the fact that Browns Mills Resembles both Mount Holly and This store, but not the Willingboro store. All 3 were created at the same time. Yet browns mills is the only brand new store that looks like the former Jamesway buildings.

    It seems that Jamesway buildings are probably extremely easy to convert to acme buildings. Maybe its their size?

  14. The Super-fresh has since closed and is now occupied by a Big lots