Friday, January 20, 2017

Acme – Dover, Delaware

Photo above courtesy of Will from B-More Retail on flickr

Location: 1001 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE

Exterior evening photos and the tour of the interior courtesy of Gary A. 

Another long-awaited Acme makes it to the blog! I hate to admit it but Gary sent in these pictures two years ago and I have been meaning to get them up ever since. There is a huge back log of photos in the Acme Style inbox and I do tend to loose track. Sometimes I postpone posting pictures if I'm not in the right mind-set to post a particular store. Sounds crazy but I've gotta be feeling a store to get it up on the blog! 

I believe there are only three other Acmes to have this exact exterior treatment... Hockessin, Ogletown and the long-gone Acme in Turnersville, New Jersey. Stores like Downingtown are nearly identical to these just without the greenhouse-style vestibule.

The very first time I saw this store was back in the early 90's. Wound up passing it on my way to Ocean City, Maryland for vacation. Nearly drove off the road! I had never seen an Acme like it before. At the time, the red oval logo was on the front of the store and the greenhouse-style vestibule was all clear glass and wide open on the inside. It has since been covered over with apples, drop ceiling added inside and walls added to create an interior alcove. Not nearly as much fun as it used to be! The interior of the store had the 80's Remodel, although it hadn't been remodeled. It was built with the décor. (If memory serves me right, this was a replacement store for a 33M model just up the road. That store was abandoned with the 80's Remodel clearly seen through the front windows. The building appears to be gone now.) Upon entering this store, I couldn't believe how bit and beautiful it was! I think I walked around the whole place with my jaw on the floor. Acme had built other stores in the late 80's about this size with the same layout but I had never been in one. A HUGE difference from the 8 to 10 aisle stores I had been familiar with up until that point. 

So let's head inside to see how the store looks today! Assuming it hasn't had any major changes in the late two years.

Here's a shot of the right side of the vestibule. (We started to head into the left side). You can see the wall and drop ceiling that have been added since the store was built. Just a plain old vestibule now. 

This store had the deluxe Premium Fresh and Healthy version 2 remodel in recent years. We're going to get an exclusive look at the previous décor package in this post was well. 

All new flooring throughout. While the layout is virtually identical to the stores built during the 90's, these late 80's/very early 90's stores didn't have the windows and arched ceilings in Produce. 

The fresh cut fruit section was moved to the side wall. You can see the signage under "fruits & vegetables". The former Fruit Bar is now the Salad Bar, as you will see after the "before" photo.



The Industrial Circus décor was certainly busy décor, especially when compared to what replaced it. 

Nice, streamlined center aisle! 

The short-lived store directories. Only seen in the first two versions of the PF&H remodels.

Looks like "EGGS • JUICE" was installed before "dairy". No room made for the descender on the "y".  Wow, that's hard to look at. 

The "y" done right along this wall! 


Customer Service is in the front corner. 

One thing missing from the remodel here is the drum lights in frozen and along the front-end. 

An alcove for newspapers and magazines in what used to be a completely open vestibule. I wonder if Customer Service was ever in this spot. Seems like a better location than where it is now.


The Dover Acme is still its original size. 






A lot of changes here over the last six decades!

Thanks to Will for the first photo and Gary for all the rest, especially the thorough interior tour! 


  1. I still can't believe that SuperValu went through the trouble of adding the Albertsons leaf to the ACME décor. The chain still struggles with identity (EE for Signature; meet the new boss same as the old boss) but at least that leaf isn't being forced on the ACME version of the "LLC" décor.

  2. So I see in the bottom picture that the Acme is a stone's throw from Dover Speedway. Wonder if they do good business on race weekends from the folks coming in.

  3. during the race the regular customers stay away and the race fans are the main customer base. Business has not been that good as the track is struggling to fill the seats now. The Firefly festival is now a much busier time.

  4. I know that Acme sets up a temporary store in a tent in the campground area during races. Nascar is just not bringing in the crowds that it used to. Theres sections of the stands that now are covered with advertisement banners as to not look empty.
    Along with the Blue Hen Mall store, Acme also had a store at 120 S Governors Ave in Downtown Dover. That building is still standing, but the city has been trying to redevelop the land. The economy in Dover is finally getting better. Within the past year, both the vacant Wal-Mart and Kmart stores have been redeveloped.

    1. I also remember the Acme in Edgehill,anyone else?

  5. Dover Speedway has been reducing the number of seats on their track, I believe from over 100,000 down to around 75,000. Just as not as many people coming to the races, and it looks better to have mostly full seats than a bunch of empty ones.

    The Firefly music festival which is located behind the track does a lot better.

    The store sits in front of the track, a little off to the side. I think the locals know better than to go there during races or Firefly. There are other options now. There has been a Safeway (their return to Delaware) further south for probably 15 years, a Target with the Safeway, a Walmart Supercenter in Camden, a new Supercenter just north of Dover in Cheswold (replaced the old location that was further down in Dover proper - next to the Sam's Club). Redner's also has locations in Camden, Dover, and West Dover. The latter being a former Futurestore. Food Lion also has two locations.

  6. ACTUALLY it replaced two Acme stores in Dover. One was a diwntown location that is now a kunkels auto parts, yhe other was an m33 tha was torn down to make way fir the Kent County Goverment building across from the BlueHen mall.