Friday, September 6, 2013

Acme — Mount Holly, New Jersey

Location: 531 High Street, Mount Holly, NJ

The Mount Holly Acme will be kicking off the final stretch of New Jersey store coverage. About a dozen more stores in the Garden State to make their way to the blog. (Open ones of course. There are still plenty of former Acmes to be covered.) I will be focusing on these remaining stores in the coming months until the very last one gets the Acme Style treatment. The lack of Pennsylvania stores on the blog, particularly those in and around Philadelphia, is a source of frustration for some. New Jersey gets featured more often than other states simply because... it's where I live. Another reason for the concentration of NJ stores is that they generate significantly more visits and comments than stores in other states. The record holders for most visited posts in the history of the blog include Brown Mills, Cinnaminson and Williamstown. Pennsylvania doesn't show up on the list until #21. That's were Parkesburg lands. A little disappointing since that post is my absolute all-time favorite.

Acme has been a presence in this shopping center since 1959, beginning its run in another section of the center. Prior to that, Acme operated a store on Mill Street from 1937 to 1967. A photo of that location will be seen down below.

In the mid-90's, Acme left its 50's digs for this spacious former Jamesway store. Cape May Court House, is another former Jamesway that Acme relocated to. That store has a nearly identical exterior to Mount Holly. Off the top of my head I can't think of any other Jamesway/Acme stores but I do believe there are some additional ones. 

Mount Holly has been one of the top requested stores here at Acme Style. Let's take a look inside...

The decor package is the not-often-seen deluxe version of the Albertsons Marketplace remodel. Most of the 90's decor was removed to make way for the new. We often see remnants of the 90's decor simply painted over with new letters mounted to the wall. I was pleasantly surprised at the conditions here. From everything I had heard about the store, I was expecting to find things in much worse shape. One thing is clear from my recent store visits, the new owners are serious about cleaning up stores and keeping shelves stocked. I noticed a huge difference from my last big road trip when SuperValu was still calling the shots. 

Mirrors instead of windows along the Produce wall.

No signage these days for the Fruit Bar. Take a close look at the tile... left over from the 90's decor! You can see a hint of it in the former Morrisville store by clicking here

Something used to be going on here. Not sure what. Coffee bar? Ala Carte station? Whatever it was... it's gone now.The wall to the rear has no function at this point and the funky floor tile appears only in this section of the store. 

This tile looks rather new with no visible scars. Perhaps it was put in when whatever was here got the ax.

Deluxe signage in the Bakery. Not the basic kind we often see in these remodels. The former Glassboro store's Bakery is seen below with some of the 90's decor left on the walls. A similair remodel can be seen in Brown Mills.

Back to Mount Holly...

Wild Harvest section could use some freshening up. The big sign and the others above the shelving are all pealing off. 

Shop the World has pretty deluxe signage here. 

All 90's remnants gone from these departments. 

Ailse signs and category markers still not swapped out for the Premium Fresh and Healthy signage. What happened to the signage from Glassboro? It could have had a new home here. 

Some old frozen cases and some new...

90's floor still going strong. 

4 aisle markers in a row offering very little assistance. 

The non-service departments here have the same signage new Albertsons Marketplace stores recieved. Jump over the Brown Mills to see the basic verion by clicking here

Center aisle splits the aisles over on the Dairy side. It does not extend then entire width of the store. 

About half of the Dairy department is located in an alcove in the rear corner. Mount Holly was a bit cluttered with displays and bargin bins. More so than I've seen in other locations recently. 

The Dairy alcove.

Deluxe curved Pharmacy Department...

The Floral and Pharmacy departments most likely switched spots in the remodel. 

While the service area of Floral was obviously closed, the lack of lighting doesn't make this department too inviting. 

Interesting fenced-in space at the corner of the store. Doesn't look like this area is used for much of anything. 

Aerials Views...

The whole plaza.

Channel/ Rickel - Mount Holly, NJ
From JoshAustin610's flickr collection

My picture of the Staples went missing. Sharing this one one from Josh's collection. I have this store pegged as the former Acme but see that Josh has the store at the other end of the strip being the Acme. Tough call as neither store offers any significant clues.

Update: The verdict is officially in... Staples is not the former Acme!

The Staples footprint is very similar to the 50's styled Acmes.

I couldn't find any of the usual scars that would be seen on the back of a former Acme. There were some employees outside which made it hard to get a close look or to take pictures. Two drive-bys revealed nothing.

No significant clues to be found on the Dollar Tree/Advanced Auto Parts.

Update: This building was in fact the original Acme in this shopping center. That still leaves us with the question of why this building shows up in the historic aerial images in 1956, yet the Acme didn't open until 1959. Perhaps it was built to be another store that never came to be with Acme taking over a few years after it's construction. That would help to explain the lack of the usual Acme attributes that we would still find today.

Update 9.8.13: Bill Haines comes through for us again... this building started out as a Grand Union!

This building shows up in the historic aerials in 1956, about 3 years before the Acme opened.

One thing is for sure... THIS is the original Mount Holly Acme! Located at 43 Mill Street. Opened in November 1937 and closed in July 1967, about 8 years after the Fairground Plaza store opened.

Update 09.07.13: Pictures of the original Mount Holly Acme sent in today by Stephen G!

On to the competition...

Not sure when this store arrived but shoppers clearly prefer it over the Acme. You couldn't pay me to deal with that parking lot. Hopefully Acme's new pricing will lure some of these shoppers back.

SuperFresh closed up shop back in 2011. Located at the southern end of town, much closer to the ShopRite than the Acme.

Historic Aerials...


Looks as though the new Acme isn't open at this point.



Again, you can see how the Staples building has a much more typical 50's shape to it that the building at the bottom of the photo. Then again, Acmes tended to have angled parking spaces like the ones we see here in front of the Dollar Tree.


Fairground Plaza still just a dream.

Hoping the improvements made by the new owners keeps the Mount Holly store going strong for decades to come!


  1. According to my grandparents, the staples was a Rickel's in the 1990s

  2. If I remember correctly, the Staples was Channel lumber and the Dollar Tree was the Acme.

    I had only been there a few times, so I could be wrong.

  3. Hi, The Pennnsville NJ , Acme ws a Jamesway Thanks Gerry

  4. Thanks for covering the Mt. Holly Acme!! The previous Acme in this center (and before that, Super Saver) was the Dollar Tree/Advance space. That extra space in the left rear of this Acme store was originally set up as a mini-Costco with warehouse club-sized products. There was a once a Starbucks in the front, near produce. BTW the Medford Acme was also a Jamesway.

  5. The Staples was previously a Channel Home center store where I worked as a manager in 1993. Prior to that it was a WT Grant store. Charlie is correct about the previous location of the Acme. It had been rebranded as a Super Saver for many years.

  6. they had a starbucks where the floor tiles look different...i know for a fact because i work at this store. it has been gone for a few years now.

  7. Medford Acme was a Jamesway. The old Medford Acme, across the street, is now a gym.

  8. The current Acme was a Grant City before a Jamesway; it makes sense that the Staples was originally a WT Grant that moved right nearby.

  9. The former Acme in the center, which opened in 1959, replaced a Grand Union which opened in 1956. I don't know why Grand Union decided to come to Mount Holly in 1956. Clearly out of their territory. Was in in retaliation to a planned merger between Acme and Grand Union in 1948, which caused a management revolt at GU and subsequent stockholder disapproval? The center doors were so unlike any Acme in 1959.

  10. Posters Bill Haines and Charlie covered most of the details I would have provided on the current and previous Mount Holly stores. I hope somebody has a photo of the previous Mt. Holly store in Fairground plaza from when it was still open. It's been closed for 18 years and I can't find any pics of it.

  11. Thank you for posting the history of the Mt. Holly Acme! I really enjoyed finding out about the old location and how it moved to its present day one. Mt. Holly really has a lot of history and retains a small town feel. One important note: Bottom Dollar Food has moved in nearby on Route 38, and they compete with Acme. Fortunately it’s not right on the same road, but they still appeal to the non-Shop-Rite enthusiasts. I have heard from several people that the Mt. Holly produce department has gotten a new supplier, and its quality has greatly improved.


    News article from 1993 about the closing of Medford and Mt Holly jamesway stores. Should provide a timeline for both stores.

  13. Holy Crap! Look at ShopRite and all the trucks that they have at ONE location. Picture ShopRite's warehouse. Do you know what trucks you see on the highway? ShopRite trucks and WalMart trucks. I've never once seen an ACME truck. Sad but true.