Friday, June 20, 2014

Acme – Maple Shade, New Jersey

Location: 300 South Lenola Road, Maple Shade, NJ

Today we're one more store closer to the finish line in New Jersey with the Kingsway Plaze Acme in Maple Shade. We have been to Maple Shade in the past to see the classic location on Main Street which miracously remains in business today. You can visit coverage of that extraodinary store by clicking here. This newer location was built sometime in the 70's and was expanded in the late 90's. It has many striking similarities to last Friday's store, Philly's 10th and Reed Acme, minus a recent remodel.

Over the years of doing the blog, I've received several doom and gloom reports about this store. I was pleasantly surprised to find the store one of the busiest Acmes I visited on this particular road trip. Perhaps the low prices/getting better campaigns have helped improve business here. There is a nearby ShopRite in Mount Laurel, which is just on the other side of the Moorestown Mall. Judgine from the historic aerials, it has existed there since at least 1995. The same historic aerials show this Acme being very busy through the years.

Maple Shade was originally built in the 1970's as a 33M model. Just like 10th and Reed, it was expanded into a neighboring CVS in the late 90's and given the Chalkboard Market remodel. The "Grand Aisle" here is laid out a little different than 10th and Reed but the overall layouts of the stores are quite similar. When I was preparing the pictures for this post, I was able to confirm the changes that were made at 10th and Reed which I had wondered about. The Pharmacy there was moved to where Customer Service had been, leaving the front corner available for the paper goods department as well as all the classic Acme logos. Customer Service returned to the spot where it had been previous to the Chalkboard Market remodel. Maple Shade seems perfect for the same remodel. Most of the cases have recently been updated here. Just need to get this decor down and put a new one up!

Lots of chalkboards remain, although some have been erased.

I'm guessing a Starbucks was located here after the last remodel. Now this area is looking more like an Aldi than an Acme.

The order of the departments is switched along this wall compared to most stores with the late 90's/early 2000's Grand Aisles. The Deli is usually behind the Bakery. Here the Deli is up front.

While the store hasn't been remodeled lately, nice new cases have been installed in several departments.

I don't often see such an extensive display of decorated cakes in an Acme. Pretty impressive display here.

Produce cases remain from the last remodel. Notice the floor in the area of the store. It has the same tile as the grocery aisles instead of what was usually used for the perimeter of the store. You can have at the tile most often used in the former Rockaway store by clicking here.

A Fisherman's Net in FULL operation! Wow, you don't find these around much anymore. Looks like new cases here too. With that huge selection of seafood, not to mention all of those cakes, I'd say this store does very decent business. The minute these fresh foods start to go, you know the store isn't doing very well.

Premium Fresh & Healthy v3 aisle markers! The wavy category markers which were used in all the versions of the PF&H stores have not been installed here. Dairy and Frozen do have the black oval category markers.

American Stores did bring the "Lancaster Brand" signage back in full force in the late 90's. This was their very last decor package before Alberstsons took over.

Like 10th and Reed, the center store did not get the suspended light fixtures. You can see them in the abandoned Bordentown store by clicking here.

Looking along the back of the store.

This chalkboard has seen better days.

New cases in Dairy!

Some funky wall patchwork down at this end of the aisle. You can see a little more of it below...

This sign made me laugh. Recommends what?

The Pharmacy in the front corner with Customer Service to the right...

A look across the front end. No lattice or hood lamps above the checkouts.

Time to check out of this store!

Aerial Views...

The former CVS along the left side with a lower roof now completely disguised from the front and side...

Historic Aerials...



1995 is the only year we get to see the store in its original state. The CVS next door has the darker roof.  Notice too that the air conditioners were relocated on the roof. Probably happened when the Acme expanded into the CVS.

Next available shot if 1970 with no sign of the Kingsway Plaza.

Leaving the Lenola Road Acme behind and taking a look at the classic store on Main Street below...

For a tour of this Maple Shade Acme, click here.


  1. When I was trying to locate the historic Main Street Maple Shade Acme, Google Maps actually brought me to this one. Was this store originally supposed to have been a replacement store for the Main Street location?

    It’s funny that this is the first Acme that I visited BEFORE the blog covered it! Normally I get my inspiration from the posts I read on here and then make the trek, not in reverse.

    How about an Acme absorbing a CVS!!!! And not a former 50’s or 60’s era Acme being remodeled into a CVS!

    On the two occasions that I have been here, I do have to say that it wasn’t as busy as when the blogger recently went. But that was also a few months ago. It seems that all the cars were parked towards the right of the shopping center, and the customers were going to the other stores and not Acme. Hopefully the lower prices campaign has started to be noticed, and people have started to go back there. The fact that BJ’s is right across the street, and Shoprite, Wegman’s, and Costco are all located a few miles down Route 38 doesn’t help out much. I have high hopes for the future of Acme, however!

  2. Are the chalkboards in this decor package pre-printed to look like chalk or does somehow actually write the various messages on them? If someone is drawing all of those messages I'm impressed as a non-artist. But at the same time that seems like an awful big upkeep and maintenance issue. I wonder what the inspiration for the chalkboard decor was.

    1. Interesting observation, Mr. Hale! They're made with actual chalk. I've seen many chalkboards in Acmes partially erased or with faded areas that were clearly brushed over with something. It certainly would have made more sense to have them printed so they would survive long-term usage. Acme must have hired an artist to go store to store to create them. The chalkboards in all the stores all have a very similar look to them.

      This decor was inspired by the farmer's market that was once located in the current Jenkintown store before Acme moved in. (I learned that from Bill Haines!) The decor was developed to have the same feel as the farmer's market. I had already named this package when I found all that out but it would make the most sense to officially change it to the "Famers Market Decor".

  3. I think this place does well because many of its shoppers are Moorestown residents whose only other shopping alternative is Wegmans. Wegmans is a very nice store but it is always extremely busy and crowded and you usually have to park about a mile away from the store.

    1. Good point. There's something to be said for "easy in, easy out."

  4. It's been some time since these pictures were taken, and I feel like the store has just not aged very well. It felt run-down and cluttered when I visited for the first time this weekend. The produce area in particular felt extremely dark. I think I'll probably be doing my ACME shopping at Westmont instead!