Friday, July 3, 2015

Remodeled Cape May Court House!

Location: 11 South Dennis Rd Cape May Court House, NJ

Here comes another surprise post... the Cape May Court House Acme has been fully remodeled! I discovered this on Acme's website when I was trying to track down grand opening day for the Ocean City store. Yet again, Acme made no mention of this store's grand reopening on their Facebook page. For a supermarket chain that keeps telling everyone they're getting better, I don't understand why they're not doing a better job promoting these remodels on social media or through local media outlets. Especially for the Jersey Shore stores which draw customers from all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the summer months. 

Quick recap of this store's history... Acme originally started out at the other end of this shopping center in a pitched-roof model. The building is now hidden for the most part by an expansion that happened in the center. In 1996, Acme opened in this spot which had previously been a Jamesway. The facade seen here was standard issue for the former Jamesway buildings as well as other stores that were expanded in the 90's. Surprisingly "FOOD•DRUG" remains after two rounds of remodels. 

The words on the awning under ACME "BEER•WINE•LIQUOR". The department has been renamed "The Frosted Mug" on the inside but does not have beer on tap. It's just your standard liquor department located in the center of the store. 

Cape May Court House is the first of the 90's stores to have been remodeled under the latest round of Albertsons' ownership. It would be nice to see it sweep to many more stores that are in need of freshening up. The sooner the old Albertsons Marketplace remodel is gone from the whole chain the better!

Welcome sign hung in the vestibule with a small updated logo.

The latest signage for the circular rack.

A look across the front-end from behind the checkouts. New flooring has gone in the entire perimeter of the the store which you see here. Old black and white photos line the walls which is typical for these Quality Built remodels.

Exciting new feature at this store... a row of 4 express registers with just one entrance...

Hard to get a great picture of this area without getting caught. The cashiers do enforce a strict "10 items only" policy. A customer was thrown out of the line for having too many items while I was taking pictures.

Updated layout in the Produce Deparment with organics taking the center of the department.

Quality Built has great signage for Produce and Dairy. Not so great for some of the service departments.

Here we can do a little before and after of this area...

This is how the store looked back in 2010 in the original post. It did have the more deluxe version of the Albertsons Marketplace remodel.

Like Beach Haven, some overly muted colors for the department signs.

The worst thing to happen with Acme cutting ties with SuperValue is the loss of the Culinary Circle breads. They were truly outstanding. Right up there with the breads that Wegmans offers. Now we're stuck with the same stuff sold at ShopRite and Stop and Shop. I saw a few breads from Safeway in the mix but nothing that was terribly exciting. At least Acme has a good selection, which is something I never find at my local ShopRite.

Gluten free and health food products in aisle 1. Just like Ocean City with the black shelving. Looks like Acme won't be naming this department now that the Wild Harvest brand is gone. O Organics and Open Nature products are located throughout the store with only a display or two in this area.

The original 90's tile remains in the aisles.

It's fascinating to me what Acme is doing with their aisles in these remodels. More streamlined then ever and fully stocked.

Dark wall color in the Meat Department which is more striking in person than it appears in the photos.

Same new cases thatwe've seen in Ocean City and Beach Haven. Quite a shine on that floor!

The tile along the back walls remains from the Albertsons Marketplace remodel.

Sorry but the Corner Deli signage needs some help. Get the NEW logo in there and pick a font that really brands the department. I know I keep repeating this but the Corner Deli sign in the Devon store is outstanding. This sign is just lazy and looks terrible with "ACME" crammed in at the top.

Below is the "before" of this area...

This treatment is a rare site in Albertsons Marketplace remodeled stores.

This long case is right across from the Deli. It lines the back of the liquor department which is why there is no access here to any aisles.

Side view of the liquor department. There is a center aisle through the frozen food department but no where else in the store. The Frosted Mug side door is straight ahead...

A look at frozen with all new cases.

Bright. Clean. Stocked. Better indeed.

The sloped ceiling up on the left of the photo has been painted all white. In fact the whole ceiling was painted! No water stained, messy tiles like we were seeing in SuperValu's remodels. A hint of the green paint that used to be on the sloped ceiling tiles is still showing through a bit.

The Hot Dogs and Breakfast Meats signs remain here from the early 2000's. It's the only two that I noticed in the store. Surprised they survived the remodel, let alone the late 2000's when they were removed completely from most stores.

The "Quality Built" sign is tucked back along Dairy. Not as visible as in other stores.

Sav•on branding remains here. Perhaps it's being decided on a store to store basis as to keep it. Below is a "before" picture of the Pharmacy signage.

Logo wall! Looking great here on the dark brown. I believe this area was reworked a lot in the remodel. Floral has been moved out onto the floor with displays arranged around the entrance. The  floral service counter has been moved to the front next to Customer Service.

The Frosted Mug! Still not open for the day when I was here.

Large helium balloon display along the front wall. Guess balloons are big business at this Acme!

Acme is definitely getting better this summer! 

A look at the pitched-roof store back in the corner now buried by an addition to the shopping center. 


The pitched-roof building has had a lot of work done the the back. No obvious features remain that can be seen in the aerial images. I though I could drive back here by coming around the left side of the shopping center but it was blocked off. The only way back is to come around the Acme. 

Let's hop across the street and head back in time just a bit...

SuperFresh arrived here in the early 90's before Acme moved into the Jamesway. Must have been a real blow to the outdated pitched-roof store but it wouldn't be long before Acme had them beat with a a bigger store. SuperFresh closed in early 2011 and is now a Big Lots.

Half of the store remains unused and you can see some labelscars along the awning.





Acme still in its original building with SuperFresh open across the street.

Acme and Jamesway going strong in 1991.

Acme clearly doing good business if all those trailers in the back are any indication. Would have loved to see this place with the 80's remodel! I didn't own a car back then that would even survive the trip to south Jersey.


I really hope Albertsons keeps these remodels coming. They are really bringing a whole new life to Acme. 


  1. While I like the new remodel, I always thought the marketplace decor was classy. It fit well in the Converted stores and the other late 90s stores. Just the way the interiors fit with it. But... This store is looking good, cannot wait for Mount Holly to get a remodel, as well as Browns Mills.

    1. The deluxe Marketplace remodels were pretty classy. Unfortunately most stores got the bare bones version. After touring a majority of them, I'm just sick of all the brown paint. It's nice to see Acme get injected with some much needed color and these remodels accomplish that so much better than the PF&H v3 package.

  2. I really like the effort ACME is putting in to include local and, well, ACME history in these Quality Built remodels. However, I've found evidence that it's actually an Albertsons décor package, in use since at least 2010:
    That Flickr user also has several other stores documented with versions of this look. I hate to say it, but I think the deli signage here might actually benefit from having that Albertsons leaf - anything to make it less bland.

    1. I have some photos of the version seen at Albertsons at the bottom of a Willingboro post...

      Fortunately the package that Acme has been getting is a little nicer and personalized with the "Quality Built" and logo walls.

    2. Aw, dang it! I'm sorry. I looked at all the posts tagged Quality Built to see if you had mentioned it, but I didn't find that one. I agree, Acme's is much nicer. Some of that departmental signage needs something else though, like the deli, like you said.

    3. No problem. The pics are hard to find on the blog. I should have done a post to show the evolution of what's being used at Alberstons to what is now going in at Acme. Really didn't now how the Quality Built decor was going to play out until just a few weeks ago. Up until then we only had a look at Devon and 10th & Reed which have two very different decor packages.

    4. Definitely different. Devon's is really cool, and hopefully that's not the last we'll see of it.

      Also, if you're interested: remember that post you did about the Kroger in Mississippi with Theme Park décor? Well, it's in the process of being remodeled, but there's another former Seessel's by Albertsons in Memphis that's now a Kroger and through three iterations of grocery stores still has Industrial Circus:

    5. Wow! That's a deluxe version of the IC package! The food sketches are a little different than the ones seen in Acme.

    6. I don't like how they're falling off, it might prompt Kroger to remodel sooner than the inevitable. I don't live in Memphis, only nearby, so it's out of the way to check on it. I'm glad I got to see it when I did!

    7. You think that albertsons would sue them because they're using their decor, which is unbelievable because it's a Kroger-- the ShopRite of the middle of the us.

    8. I don't really think you could sue someone for using decor that was left behind by the previous owner. Either Kroger bought the decor from Albertsons as part of the package, or Albertsons didn't want to go through the hassle of stripping it from the building and just left it all there.

    9. No I wouldn't think that Alberstons would sue. That is absolutely ridiculous. They left it there. If they didn't want another store to use it they would have taken it all down.

  3. Great post! The breads that are sold at stop and shop arent that bad, unless that you buy the "American' type breads. The ciabatta is quite good.

  4. So far the merger seems underwhelming, I hope Albertsons can develop good store brands again since they now have the resources to do so.

    1. What exactly were you expecting 6 months in from the closure of the deal? Huge mergers like this take time. You can't change everything overnight.

  5. I guess you haven!t been in a Safeway lately. Albertsons upgraded Safeways meat program to the same as Acmes (Choice.) The have cleaned up and restocked those stores. They have lowered Safeways prices. Remember it is Albertsons who has purchased Safeway not the other way around. The eastern division manager for both chains is Acmes former president. Gerry

    1. I thought Albertsons and Safeway were both bought by Cerberus, no? So in a way Albertsons and Safeway are now equal in both being under Cerberus?

    2. Nope. Alberstons is running Safeway now. It is somewhat of a combined effort but Albertsons is the one in charge.

  6. We're still wrong when it comes to the location of the old Acme store, or at least half wrong.

    There is a Cape Bank at 225 Main Street, immediately south of the current store. It doesn't look like a former Acme but if you remove the part of the building that comes up close to the road, you'll see a silver rectangle that's a flat-roofed 50's Acme (with one corner removed to create some kind of entrance plaza). My list of former Acme locations confirms this.

    I can't say if the pitched roof building in the corner of the shopping center was ever an Acme. First, it doesn't appear in aerial photos until around 1970 and even though Historic Aerials isn't perfect, I can't see how Acme was building pitched roof stores anywhere near the end of the 60's. Second, that store wouldn't have been much larger than a flat-roofed 50's store, so why would Acme spend the money to build and move to a building that's about the same size only a decade later? To be in a shopping center? The pitched roof building doesn't even look like those that Acme built- it seems a little too wide, the side walls a little too low, the pitch of the roof a little too shallow... etc., etc.

    I'd love to know what happened but for now, I think all we can do is say for sure that the Cape Bank building is the former Cape May Court House Acme.

    1. There are a handful of pitched-roof stores that were built in the very early 70's.