Friday, August 4, 2017

Acme – Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Location: 500 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Opened as an Acme on October 16, 2015

Acme definitely took a chance on this one! Less than two months to go until the opening of the Montvale Wegmans just a short drive away. Acme must be feeling pretty confident. The store has been beautifully transformed with the Quality Built décor.

Interesting covered walkway extending through the parking lot...

What a mess. Can't Acme spring for enough paint to cover the entire paneled section? The whole exterior could use a fresh coat. Such a contrast to the beautiful interior...

Starbucks has been located here since the A&P days.

Could someone confirm what décor package A&P left behind at this store? No clues remaining of any of the A&P's fresh remodels.

Update 8.8.17: The previous décor package looks to have been a combo of A&P's fresh remodel version 1 and version 4. At the very least, the aisle markers were upgraded to version 4. The interior here was similar to that of New Providence. For a look at this store prior to Quality Built, please click here.

Large organic grocery section between Produce and the Bakery.

Acme got lucky with the white tile in the Deli. A&P's yellow tile from the first round or fresh remodels is not as good of a match to Quality Built.

All new tables and shelves in the Bakery. These were recently put into all of the Acmes in my area.

Similar funky ceiling that we saw at the Fort Lee store.

Woodcliff Lake did not get the "This is your Acme" sign. Wonder why. There is plenty of wall space throughout the store.

Acme's double-wide refreshment aisle! These photo were taken back in the Spring which is why you may see some Monopoly signage.

This store actually had enough registers open!

The shelf-checkout grave yard. I believe Customer Service was located to the left originally. A&P moved it to the middle of the front-end...


Wegmans is opening a 108,000 square foot store just across the Parkway from the Acme. A&P sued the town of Montvale, home of their corporate offices, to stop construction of the store. They failed and now it will be Acme's problem. For a glimpse of the Wegmans under construciton, please click here.

This map shows the various Acme locations that will be sure to take a hit with the opening of Wegmans.

Former A&P/"The Food Emporium" Montvale, NJ
Location: 106 Chestnut Ridge Rd Montvale, NJ 

Update 8.8.17: The Woodcliff Lake A&P was a replacement store for a Centennial A&P, which was later rebranded a Food Emporium, two miles north in Montvale. Thanks to Stephen for sending in the tip!





Do you think the Woodcliff Acme will be able to survive Wegmans? 


  1. I don't see this store surviving the opening of Wegman's, but that'll be a conversation for another time.

    I think this store had the first version of the Fresh decor, with tans and greens. I remember it looking a lot like the A&P in Little Falls. At one point the company was a big fan of the ceiling tiles with the little squares.

    The covered walkway across the parking lot is likely a remnant of this being A&P's showcase store, as it was very close to their corporate offices. It was likely where a lot of ideas were attempted, and a lot of executives visited on a regular basis. If there was a store where no expense was spared, this was it.

  2. I do remember this being A&P's flagship store, and I don't know how much business it did weekly but, I know it was always the first to get the latest remodeling package. I hope ACME really does it's best to compete with Wegmanns! I am sure they will take a hit, but no one wants to have an empty supermarket in their community! Hopefully this time around the latest "lower prices" campaign catches on! I really don't see what all the fuss is about a Wegmanns. They do not have sales, and I for one do not want to eat in a supermarket, but I know millenials are gonna love it! WHY though?? With this thought can anyone survive a Wegmanns opening? ShopRite, Stop&Shop, Walmart, ACME?

    1. They don't have sales per se, but regular prices are much lower than most other stores. Add in their store brand items, which are higher quality than other stores yet similarly priced, and it makes a pretty compelling case to just shop there and not scour circulars to see who's cheapest.

    2. There are several things with Wegmans.
      First (as you mention) is the eating options - even if one doesn't want to actually eat there, it's also the opportunity to pick up a full meal to take home and eat with little to no work required. So, in that part of the store they are as much competing with the quick service type restaurants as with other markets.

      Secondly is the specialty sections - they do feature quite a variety of items (in the fresh categories) that just aren't found everywhere. This is also where they get the reputation for being expensive, as many of those items are simply due to the greater difficulty obtaining them and a likely smaller volume and/or more items that have to be written off when they are no longer so fresh.

      The third part of the store is the "regular" stuff - that section often times (even without sales, though they kind of do, just not different each week like many stores) offers items that are equal to and even cheaper than what you'd find in other stores. I remember once going to one of the NJ stores after having been to several other chains (I think we were mostly in PA that time) and still finding items I'd get that were better deals than I had seen at any of the other chains.
      Not to mention for a long time they had their paper towels quite cheap (like $2.99 for 8 rolls) that we'd pick up some every time we were near one (which might be 2 or 3x/year) as you could never find a similar price at any other store.

      With all that being said, it's still not impossible for more than one store in any area to survive, as each will offer certain things that attract one person/group while another has attraction to different people.

    3. Eating at Wegmans isn't quite the same as eating at a "supermarket". The dinning area is usually up on the second floor and is appointed very nicely. Most stores have multiple dinning rooms, some of which can be closed off for meetings, so it's very easy to find a quite secluded area. Beats the hell out of eating in a fast food joint!!!

    4. You'll change your mind about eating in a Wegman's once you taste the food and see the atmosphere! Never say never!

    5. I've enjoyed some really good (fast) meals at Wegman's. It's not an option if you're looking for culinary excellence but if you're hungry and having to get some shopping done, it provides a good way to get both done in one trip.

      My main issue with Wegamn's (at least the one closest to me) is that a lot of the departments close down around 8:00. This includes hot (prepared) foods, deli, seafood, and butcher block. Even the bakery department takes in its cookies! I find this strategy odd because not everyone has a schedule that allows them to get to a grocery store before 8/9 o'clock in the evening, and without those departments open, Wegman's suddenly becomes a lot more generic.

    6. Wegman's is not without its problems, especially the New Jersey stores which are not run anything like the ones in New York. One crazy example... they do not restock produce sufficiently during the day so if you stop in at 6 pm for lettuce, tomato and a banana you're going to be completely out of luck.

  3. The store had version 1 and, later, version 4 of the Fresh Market interior (same as New Providence A&P and Girard Ave Superfresh) A&P relocated the customer-service counter when it implemented version 4. I always thought the relocation was odd, as it seemed to be a very Pathmark-like location for an A&P.

  4. I would hate to see one store in this case Wegmanns take out a slew of Acme Markets after having just returned to North Jersey. I personally think the Acme in Patterson NY with its Quality Built Decor pkg., the most beautiful supermarket I've ever been in. I love the colors, the block lettering, black shelves, cases and carts, to me it's just warm and visually appealing. I have seen business pick up in Patterson and to be honest they're having better sales than Stop&Shop and sales pricing on some items comparable to ShopRite. ShopRite has a loyal customer base. I hope that Acme can attract their own loyal base and survive. I like competition not complete obliteration which happens when a Walmart Supercenter opens nearby. In that case usually the only survivor is ShopRite. I'm rooting for Acme. I do agree I would rather eat at a Stew Leonard's type of place than a fast food joint. I'm glad your back Acme style!

  5. It's Wegmans, no apostrophe.

    William is completely right. Though I would make one other distinction. The specialty service departments versus the regular fresh departments. The custom cut meat can be expensive, but their packaged meat prices are really good.

    And their private label items are all top notch. Sometimes even better than their brand name competitors. I have bought a lot of their items including cereals and laundry detergent and have never been disappointed.

    If you stay away from the hot foods and the specialty service departments the prices are very reasonable.

    Plus, the stores are massive. I worked at one as a vendor for a while, and during the first few weeks people would come in just to look around.

    The Acme will appeal to older shoppers and people who want to just grab a few things and get out without having to walk through a huge store. Though it will be crucial that their prices at least be somewhat competitive and they have to keep enough registers open.

  6. I swear that the A&P in question just up the road wasn't a Food Emporium but a Food Bazaar, like the old Glen Rock store was (I think Park Ridge was too). That area used to be a hotbed of activity during the fall and I spent a lot of time up there as a kid. Most of the farms and such, if not all of them by now, are long gone.