Friday, November 19, 2010

Abandoned Acme! Kennett Square, PA

Location: 345 Scarlet Road, Kennett Square PA

Abandoned since closing back in February 2008. It's last upgrade occurred in the early 2000's with this new facade, which included a small addition to the front, and the Industrial Circus remodel to the interior. A Giant Food store just across the street was expanded and remodeled around the same time and  ultimately proved to be too much competition for the Acme. A replacement store was built nearby which we will visit down below.

This section to the left of the store appears to be an addition which may have happened around the time of the 80's remodel. I have no idea when this store was first built. Evidence at the back of the store reveals it may have been built as far back as the late 60's.

The lighter colored bricks are covering over the original windows. 

Interior shots were impossible with the sun glare on the inside doors. Some lights were still on in the store. If I had arrived here later in the day, we would have some interior views. Good interior shots are all about the timing. I'm hoping to swing by here again on an upcoming road trip. 

This is as much interior detail I was able to capture.

This lone satellite photo shows the addition to the left side of the store. Birds eye view on Bing Maps is not available for this area.

And there we have the second floor door with the steal beam above as seen on many old Acmes. The section to the right appears to be a newer part of the store.

A section of the original building with the widows on the second floor. Loading dock to the right is a newer section. You can see an outline of an old loading door under the windows which has since been sealed over. 

Google Maps street view still shows the Acme open for business. 

The Kennett Square Acme looked to be doing some decent business back in 2002. No other historical aerial views are avaiable.

The Giant right across the street. Not sure how long these two stores were in competition with one another. 

Image above shows the close proximity of both stores. 

The Avondale Acme is located 5 miles west of the Kennett Square store at 851 Gap Newport Pike. Avondale opened in October of 2007 with Kennett Square closing 5 months later. The company played off the closing of Kennett Square by saying that the Avondale store was a replacement to the older store. That doesn't appear to be the original plan since Kennett Sqaure was not closed the day before the new store opened which is generally the case when a replacement store makes it's debut.

The interior here has the original deluxe version of the Premium Fresh and Healthy decor. The pictures below have been previously seen in the Decor Directory.

Although the Acme is located in Avondale, the signs in the foyer welcome shoppers to the London Grove Acme.

This is the only aerial image currently available on Bing. The Acme still under construction with the Lowes next door not started yet. 


  1. The Kennett Square Acme in the New Garden Center was a replacement store for a 1954 Signature Store at the corner of S. West & W. State Streets. I suspect that this store opened in the early 1970's. In the mid 1980's it was extensively remodeled and enlarged. It's historical significance is that it was the first Acme to have an in store pharmacy! (The Jewel acquisition was completed in 1984, and they were famous for their Jewel/Osco combination stores. Jewel management people were brought in to start the Acme transformation into larger combination stores.)
    The labelscar clearly shows "Pharmacy," but the last time I was in the store, the pharmacy was long gone.

  2. This store opened in 1979. Not sure but I am assuming it was a standard 70's Acme. You can tell it did have a kind of stucco popular in the 70's. Look at the side view. Many 70's Kmart and JCPenney stores alike had this. Even Mobil gas station buildings did. So did the Acme in Norristown, PA which opened sometime between 1975-1977 (closed in 2002, now Big Lots). This replaced a very unique 1954 store, now a U-Haul building. The replacement store was paired with a Kmart which closed early last year. Kmart had another store (also closed now) in nearby Eagleville which started as a Grant City, just like the Clementon Grants. This Grant City was paired with a Genuardi's which is still open today.

    I also recall a unique old school Pizza Hut across from this Acme. Not sure but I think it was torn down for a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins. And the Big Lots in Kennett Square was a Jamesway. So were the Big Lots in Dunmore PA, Somers Point NJ, and Glassboro NJ.

    There was a Centennial A&P building in Kennett Square which was abandoned until it was recently (maybe 2 years ago) demolished. The site is still vacant. I am not sure if it was last an A&P, but I heard it was once a Super Fresh.

    The Big Lots and Giant both were new around 2000. What might have hurt the Acme was that the Giant had a brand new (state) liquor store attached to it but not inside.

  3. The Big Lots was originally a Jamesway, that would have opened around the same time as the center was built (approx. 1979). Big Lots would have been there as long ago as the late 90s. From info I've found online the Giant opened around 1995-96 and has been expanded (it used to have the glass front), meaning it competed with Acme for quite some time. The Dollar General in the center was the Thrift Drug, which relocated further into town as Eckerd in 2000-01 (and is now Rite Aid).

    The Norristown Acme was a replacement for a 50s store in what's now Norriton Square; that's long since been demolished and is what would now be Shop-Rite's parking lot. The U-Haul building is at the other end of town, but it is possible both older stores were merged into the new one.

  4. I haven't been up that way in ages, but I do remember the Pizza Hut as well. And agreed, the Giant was just too much for the Acme, even with the remodel. The Giant even now has a gas station.

    It also didn't help that Wal-Mart came to town, and had a fairly decent food section - heavy on Hispanic foods due to the local demographics. Also a bit further up Route 1 is a Super Fresh and a Genuardi's (across the street from one another).

    I hear the Avondale store isn't doing what it should be, either. Despite the location right off of Route 1, it's stuck between two Giants - West Grove/Jennersville and Kennett Square. Jennersville also remodeled and expanded a few years back. Not to mention the Rising Sun MD store, which isn't that far away, either, and is a top 5 Giant-Carlisle store for the vendor company I work for. It's a replacement store that was built a few years ago, right next to the old glass front/foyer model store (which still sits empty).

  5. Street View actually goes THROUGH the shopping center (both it and Giant across the street). First time I'd seen that.

  6. The a&p store was a Shure Fine right before closing and was demolished a fee years back now owned by south mill mushrooms awaiting development I moved out here in 92 and at the time the acme was the only place within 20 mins one could shop other then the hochession Delaware acme in lantana squre shopping center approx 10 to 15 min away. Super fresh was the first strike opening around 93 then giant opening in the late 90s directly across the street. Also with the closure of jamesway and thrift drug being swallowed up by eckards and the mergers of a few banks the shopping center lost a lot of anchor stores thus a declined customer base. The owners of the shopping center did little to attract new business and are all behind in upkeep and modernization. Big lots moved in recently right before acme closed. Also the new genuardis near by has hurt. Though they just knocked down and rebuilt the mc donalds this shopping center is pretty dead. As for the old pizza hut it is still the same building just has had major work done to it

  7. Definitely a late 70's store. Those exterior bricks were used on many built at the time. When I worked at the Morris Plains store (the entire front and right side of the building was built using them), covering the old entrance and exits (as well as an unused bakery door) was supposedly a challenge because no company made those bricks and they had to be sourced from some company that couldn't exactly match the originals, which is apparently why old doors and windows will always be obvious if you look hard enough.

  8. Seems like Ollie's Bargain Outlet moved in

  9. I remember the 80's ACME very well. The Giant opened in November of 1995 (I know, I worked there when it opened). Jamesway opened around 1983, and closed in 1996. I was sad to see this ACME go, even though I rarely shopped there, when I had the option to save so much by shopping at Giant. I remember, in the early 80's, before the expansion, a carnival used to come to town and set up in the parking lot next to the store. I would have been just 5 years old then.

  10. Here we have another closed Acme in hopes of forcing it's loyal customers to travel to the new store located just minutes away on route 41 in Avondale, PA. And we see that it may have worked in the 80's and 90's, but not now due to Shoprite and Giant taking Acme's customer base. Collegeville was a complete failure when Acme tried to force their customers to travel to the new Limerick, PA store.Now they're both memories. Where do they find such upper management JACK-ASSES?