Thursday, February 28, 2013

Store Count...


The following store has now closed:


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

News Break:

Albertsons regroups;
Acme to get new president

Interesting article over at Supermarket News details the changes that are underway as Acme parts way with SuperValu. As you know, Cerberus Capital Management will be the new owner of Acme as of next month. The private equity firm has been the owner of hundreds of Albertsons stores that SuperValu wasn't interested in acquiring back in 2006. Cerberus will reunite the Albertsons they currently own with those that have been owned by SuperValu. Once this all happens, Acme will once again be run Albertsons executives. The article at Supermarket News spells out the changes in management as the two Alberstons divisions join forces. A big change for Acme will be the appointment of yet another new president. Check out the article for all the details.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Step inside this spectacularly preserved Acme!

Classic photos courtesy of John from

A few weeks ago John treated us to some classic photos of the former Coal Township Acme. Today, we're going to have a tour of the interior which has changed very little since its Acme days. Three different stores... BiLo, BRL Grocery Outlet and Buy Rite Liquidators, which now operates in the space.. have occupied the space since the Acme closed back in 1995. Unbelievably, none of the the 3 companies have made major changes to the interior. Much of Acme's decor remains intact!

Acme - Coal Township
Above photo courtesy of JoshAustin610's flickr collection

After the exterior photos went up on the blog, John returned to the store to get some interior shots. The deluxe 70's Colonial Decor package still going strong in 2013! Here we're looking at the virtually untouched Produce Department. You can compare it to the photo below from the 1978 Annual Report, which has been previously featured on the blog. The Produce signage and decor are nearly identical in both pictures, right down to the cases and plant departments on the left side of the photos. A paint job at the Coal store has neutralized the former color scheme but you can still clearly see the framing around the Produce sign is an exact match to the one below. The faux slate floor, always one of Acme's most distinctive features in the 70's and early 80's, remains above and can also be seen in the image below. As nice as the 80's remodel was, it was hard seeing these floors go. The only Acme I know of with this flooring still in place is the Manasquan store. That store is also the last to have the fish-eye sign. 

Notice the interesting wooden archways near the rear. The right side of the aisle would have been lined with Produce cases as well but have since been removed here. The single tiered brown cases were replaced in the 80's remodel with multi-tiered green and beige cases on both sides. The ceiling lights were popular in late 70's and early 80's Acmes. 

The corner treatment above is identical to the Acme below, where you can only see a snippet of it above the Deli sign. Sadly those awesome light fixtures are long gone. They were probably yanked off the walls by BiLo. I had been in other BiLo converted Acmes that kept most of Acme's decor but ditched the lights. 

Close-up of the Deli area flooring as it is today. 

Looking along the back. Not sure how the signage was set up here. There are three sections which would have worked for "Lancaster Brand Meats". 

Single tiered meat cases would have run along the back here with an aisle behind them for employees to stock the cases and assist customers. Recessed lights above to light the cases. Orange panels would have been along the back wall, now painted cream. See the former Rockaway store for how this wall would have looked. 

Looking back down towards the Deli. The beams along the awning are a really nice touch. I don't recall seeing these at other Acme's of this era.

Looking up to the front. 

Former Dairy Department along this wall. Looks like these cases were set up away from the wall, perhaps to stock from behind. Former Bakery up in the front corner under the curved drop ceiling section. The area looks too small to have had an in-store Bakery. 

Front-end with the old Acme clock still hanging above the exit. We've seen these clocks in Manasquan and Fallston. Not sure what the purpose of the wooden structure is in front of the registers.

Thanks to John for getting these incredible pictures! Keep your eyes pealed for more of his contributions which will be coming to Acme Style soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SuperCard Bag

Photo Courtesy of Steven W.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Acme – Bridgeton, New Jersey

Location: 29 Cornwell Drive, Bridgeton, NJ

Welcome to the southern most, non-shore store in New Jersey. A 90's replacement of the pitched-roof model located at the opposite end of the strip. The facade seen here was often used on former Jamesways that were converted to Acmes in the mid 90's. Some locations that were expanded in the 90's also receieved this exterior look. This building appears to have been built from the ground up. A smaller store had existed here previously but doesn't appear to have been incorporated into the Acme. Satellite images of the roof and rear of the store show no obvious evidence of the former building being expanded into what stands today.

The Bridgeton Acme continues to survive despite increasing competition in the area. A ShopRite, located in a shopping center behind the Acme, has existed there since at least 2002. A Walmart has been open since at least 2006 just north of the Acme. Judging from the satellite images of the parking lot there, business seems rather anemic compared to other Walmarts. Another shopping center sits directly across the street from the Acme which was once home to an Ames and a grocery store. The center has sat empty virtually abandoned for a while as you'll see in photos down below. It is now coming back to life again. Aldi recently moved into a portion of the former supermarket.

90's signage still above the entrances. The "Food•Drug" signage was removed from most locations after the pharmacies were rebranded as Savon.

Ok, what is in these oranges boxes? I have no idea. Cookies? Can't seem to get away from them. We recently saw a similar display at the Burlington store... from the late 90's! Very nice welcome sign.

I visited this store on a Saturday morning last fall. First stop of the day. I have to confess... I was pretty shocked at how empty the shelves were throughout the store. Didn't see anyone working on stocking the she, horrible way to create a satisfying shopping experience. There was hardly a roll of paper towels to be found. Maybe it was just an off day here but with all the competition nearby you'd think they get the shelves stocked.

Another 90's Red/White/Blue store given the very basic version of the Albertsons Marketplace package.

A reminder of the 90' decor for these departments...

The curved aisle markers are a pretty rare site these days. They were used most often in remodels but have recently been ditched for the Premium Fresh and Healthy signage. Stores built with the deluxe Albertsons Marketplace decor had these aisle markers. The Tuckerton store has similar signs to the ones seen here but in the Industrial Circus decor style.

Have to say... I've been seeing Floral departments looking like this in a lot of Acmes these days.

Now for a look at the former pitched-roof store...

The original Acme is located at the opposite end of the strip. Opened in March 1963, possibly as a replacement for this location in town at Commerce and Pearl Streets...

Opened in 1952. Closing date unknown.

Back to the 1963 model...

Disguised along the front by a new facade.

Newer section added on this side during the Acme days.

The addition dates back to at least 1972 as we'll see below. Decent size for those days.

Second floor windows are sealed over. Great paint job hiding the many decades this building has under its belt.

The view from the old to the new(er).

Red oval logos still kicking around on some trailers despite SuperValu's efforts to remove every last one of them.

The aerial tour...

Very similar shopping center right across the street.

Former Jamesway/Ames to the left, unknown former supermarket to the right. The place is nearly deserted in these satellite photos but is currently coming back to life. Big Lots and Tractor Supply now occupy the Ames store. Dollar Tree and Aldi now split the building at the other end.

A look at the tough competition around the Bridgeton Acme.

Through the years...




A look at the store that once stood where the Acme is today. You can see the expansion to the pitched-roof Acme was complete by 1972.

Acme's first year!

The poor home owners probably didn't know what was coming at this point... an Acme soon to be in their backyard.

I've certainly seen deader Acmes that are surrounded by ShopRite, Walmart and other discount grocers.  Bridgeton deserves credit for lasting this long. Perhaps the conditions seen inside on the day of my visit were the exception, not the rule.