Location: 1640 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA
Welcome to the Flourtown Acme, a location I keep coming back to this one when I'm searching for out-of-the-ordinary Acmes. While this store is not wildly unusual, the foot print of the building left me with plenty of questions regarding the layout as well as the evolution of the building over the years. Below is a satellite image to give you an overview of the building and the surrounding property...
What is technically the front of the store, as it faces out to Bethlehem Pike, is actually the side. From the road the store looks to be particularly small. As you can see in the satellite image, the building stretches a good distance to the rear. The left side of the building is the front-end of the interior.
Judging from the exterior, one could easily assume that Acme moved into a preexisting building as it's characteristics are not usual for an Acme. As it turns out, Acme did build this store... directly behind a 50's model that stood in the front parking lot. We'll see evidence of that in the historic aerial images down below. The original store opened in November 1957. Unfortunately, we won't be able to pinpoint a year... or decade for the that matter... when the switch to the new store was made. No historic views are available between the old store in 1971 and the new store in 2002.
Let's head inside...
Above is an approximate layout of the store. The interior shots below might be a little disorienting without seeing the general layout first. Note that Customer Service faces the exit lane of the store. There is no access to it from the side facing the grocery aisles.
The store appears to be freshly remodeled with the brown version of the Premium Fresh and Healthy package. There are some nice touches here which make this store seem nicer than others I've been in with this same remodel. The entrance, just to the right of where I am standing, leads customers straight into Produce. The Bakery and Deli are to the left.
Looking towards the front corner. The vestibule just beyond the far wall. There are a few short windows running along the produce cases to the left which face out to Bethlehem Pike.
The "Grand Aisle" or "Marketplace" area was packed with merchandise. No space is left under utilized. This was just a few weeks before the holidays so an abundance of selection is to be expected. The rest of the store was spacious and clutter free.
Looking down the back aisle, around the corner from the Deli. About half of the back wall is used for frozen food cases. Most of which are for frozen meats. The store does have frozen food aisles so I'm not sure what was in all of these cases back here. Didn't think to take a look. Milk is located along the far wall.
First grocery aisle is "Shop the World". Looking towards the front-end. I don't recall seeing a designated "Wild Harvest" section at this store.
Front-end with registers to the left. Expansive space between checkouts and the grocery aisle.
It appears this location received new flooring with the latest remodel. This is the first time I've seen a tile pattern with the PF&H remodel. The deluxe version of remodel included a neutral floor which you can see at the Feasterville store. Other stores have kept their flooring from previous remodels.
Not sure why these wireless routers wind up right in the middle of department signage. There's one right next to the dairy sign as well.
The last few aisles are split leaving a center aisle.
An impressive 17 aisles. I wouldn't have guessed it had that many. I was prepared to peg this location as a "small" Acme but it as big as some of the new stores the company built in the 2000's.
Would love to know how the interior of the store evolved of the years. Reviews I've seen online of the store mention that the layout has recenttly changed, apparently more than once, leaving some customers frustrated with all the changes. Having never been to the store before, I have to say it is well laid out, not to mention exceptionally clean. This Acme is as ready as it ever will be to take on new competition coming soon. (Details below)
Interesting to see 3D lettering on the shopping center sign.
And now for that new competition. A nearby Genuardi's is one of the locations purchased by Giant.
An abandoned Kmart sits at the rear of the shopping center. That building is closer in size to the store Giant operates. The Genuardi's stores that Giant is taking over in the area are closer in size to the stores Giant has been abandoning in other markets for huge replacement stores.
Photo courtesy of JoshAustin
Here's a shot of the store from ground level. Be sure to click on the photo to jump over to Josh's photostream on flickr. Interesting read there on the history of this location.
Photo courtesy of JoshAustin
Ground level shot of the abandoned Kmart. Closed in 2003. Click on the photo for an interesting read on this store as well. Unusual to see a Kmart with so many windows remaining along the front. They were almost always covered over during the remodels of the late 80's/early90's.
And now to head back in time...
We see the roof has recently been painted white to reflect sunlight and heat. A popular community pool just behind the Acme.
Back to 1971 where we see the original store still standing. Looks like the new store was built just feet away from the rear of the old one. Did the new store open the minute the old one closed? Would have left for limited parking for the grand opening. Perhaps that's why there is such a large parking area all the way to the rear of the new store.