Friday, October 13, 2017

Acme – South Plainfield, New Jersey

Location: 907 Oak Tree Road, South Plainfield, NJ

Wow. This is a beautiful Acme. Ranks up there with the nicest in the whole chain. Big and clean with every single aisle stocked perfectly. Even all of the displays are neat, tidy and carefully placed around the store. Acme scored some good bones with this one and elevated it even highly with the Quality Built décor.

Super A&P  Food Market opened here in the late 90's, replacing a former Futurestore model across the street. Unfortunately for Acme, ShopRite opened in A&P's old spot in November 2016 after expanding and extensively renovating the building.

I arrived here about 6:00 on a week night. Looked like there was a decent amount of cars in the parking lot but the store was completely dead inside. And the few shoppers that were wondering around were only grabbing a couple of items.

Guess what? This place has SELF-CHECKOUTS!!! 

Quality Built looking fantastic here! Works very well with A&P's old black and white floors.


Before photos courtesy of Mike B. 

There will be a mix of "before" pictures throughout the post thanks to Mike. He took some photos while A&P was winding down and some others after Acme reopened the store.

Maybe I was just here on an off-hour. The store was stocked full of merchandise so it must be doing decent business. Or is it? Maybe it gets really busy on the weekends.

Pharmacy and Customer Service just to the right of the entrance. Health and Beauty is directly across from the Pharmacy with all merchandise on shelves half as high as the rest of the store.

Doesn't look like the pizza oven is used any more. Much of the Food To Go cases to the left were covered with displays of chips. The selection of fresh foods over at ShopRite is very extensive. Acme isn't even trying to compete with it.


The A&P had a late stage "fresh" remodel with simplified murals from the second round and department lettering from the first round. Basically just a décor swap.



The produce was beautiful. Is anyone going to come and buy any of it?


Not many shoppers here on Mike's visit either although it was certainly off-hours as the Seafood Department was closed.

No customers. No employees. And it was 6:00 p.m. Not 10:00 p.m.

Love the fact that this store has a bright white ceiling. Makes all the difference with the lighting. A&P painted the ceilings beige for the most of the "fresh" remodels. Wasn't a good idea. This store feels nearly brand-new despite being around 20 years old.



Absolute crickets from one end of this place the other.

The only shoppers I saw in the entire store with a cart somewhat full of groceries.

Love seeing the new Acme logo on a pure white wall!

A&P had their self-checkouts up at this end. Acme removed them and added in an express register counter. (See below) That is all gone now too. Regular express registers are now at the opposite end next to the newly installed self-checkouts.


Crazy that A&P put in the "fresh" décor and left the tacky 90's register lights!

This store received all new registers along the front-end.

And here are the self-checkouts! Want to know the funny part? The few shoppers that were checking out were doing it at one of the two manned registers! The other register had no customers.

Will this place survive against ShopRite? Doesn't look like it to me but it is hard to judge from one visit. If it wasn't such a trek for me, I'd check it out over a weekend to see if the place does any better.

A cool A&P remnant around back!


Location: 3600 Park Ave, South Plainfield, NJ

So I stopped here before going to the Acme. One look at the parking lot and I thought "oh wow, bet there's no one at the Acme". I was right.

I was surprised to see this place with such an old décor package. While it's not terrible, it does feel a little dated. The murals up on the walls have been added to other Saker ShopRites in recent years to add more visual appeal.

Impressive fresh food options for a ShopRite.

Funny thing here... the ShopRite had exactly the same amount of customers in the Bakery as the Acme... zero. I was expecting to see a much bigger crowd here after seeing how full the parking lot was. The place is huge. Nearly 80,0000 square feet.


A&P South Plainfield, NJ
The A&P finished out it's run with the latest exterior signage. 

I'm so confused by this. Apparenlty A&P reopened their abandoned store as a Pathmark Sav-a-center.  It didn't last very long. But how is it that the would be allowed to open another company owned store right across the street? The FTC always makes these chains sell off stores when there is overlap after an acquisition. 

Former A&P Futurestore/Pathmark Sav A Center South Plainfield, NJ
Another photo from Dan Asnis' photostream showing the former A&P Futurestore/Pathmark.

Acme's new South Plainfield store is just short distance from their former location which closed in the early 2000's.

The former Acme is now Aldi.

Location: 1620 Park Ave, South Plainfield, NJ

For additional coverage of this location, please click here.


A&P looking like it was doing big business in 2012!




A&P was originally located in the strip mall in front of the spot were the replacement Futurestore model was built.


  1. Heck, Albertsons has store s in Delaware across the street from ech other on Naamans Road in Wilmington.In Route 13 in Dover Delaware.Thirty years ago in A shopping center on the Governor Prinz, Acme had two store in opposite sides of the center.When SuperValu owned Acme and Sav A Lot many towns had an Acme and a SavALot in them,often with the SavALot in the old Acme A Frame. Different classes if trade

  2. That is a beautiful store inside and out. Perception is everything. Acme came in with ridiculously high prices and now that perception has stuck with them. They have lowered prices and have good weekly sales comparable to ShopRite’s sales but these beautiful stores are dead. Patterson NY is no exception. I’d like to know what the hell
    is going on. I hear radio ads for Acme all the time! I see Acme billboards! I see Acme massive ads while reading the news online. I don’t get it.

  3. Yeah, I always thought it was weird that A&P opened that Pathmark in their former location right across from the then-current A&P. It took the place of their Edison store further east on Oak Tree Road, which was previously a ShopRite. For the record, despite having the Futurestore-style facade, the A&P was actually branded as a Sav-a-Center.

    Glad to see my photos here... unfortunately this post does seem to confirm my worst fears about ShopRite's effect. I was hoping maybe it would actually benefit from the overcrowding at ShopRite just as the Clark location does, but I guess that's just a busier area in general. Clark also has a good fresh food selection, unlike South Plainfield. But I am happy to see they reinstated the self-checkouts.

    1. the history of A&P in S. Plainfield is odd. The original store was next to where the shop rite is...which is now a strip mall, thrift store and big Lots. They then opened the Future Store (where shop rite sits). Next they went across the street to the nice, big Fresh store (where Acme is). The old Future store became an Asian market. It gets really weird when A&P buys Pathmark. Up the road in Edison, shop rite becomes Pathmark. This closes and Pathmark opens up down the road in S. Plainfield where the Asian market/Future store was. It was a really nice store. Didn't make a year before it folded. Much like the Pathmark in Hadley Plaza (now a sporting goods store). Boo!

  4. The irony in all this is, say for example that Acme closed this locale and a Wegmanns opened in its place without any expansion, it would probably have an effect on ShopRite’s weekly sales figures. Acme seems to be a non entity in the markets they took over from A&P and it’s really starting to show. Will Albertsons keep investing money in stores that do not make the cut? No I think not. They’ll cut their losses and withdraw from the northeast market before any more bloodshed. The question is how much more time will they give it before they pull the plug on Acme in general? The previous owners left Connecticut with the Shaw’s brand several years ago after a massive growth spurt in the Nutmeg State leaving most of their stores to become ShopRite further enhancing their presence in CT.
    The four Acme stores in lower Fairfield County are well situated because they are in some of the highest income zip codes in the Northeast.

  5. Well hopefully the upper echelon will see their mistake and go head to head and BEAT any competitor that wants to place a store across the street. Shoprite has hurt many Acme's throughout
    the chain. They have much, much more buying power then wakefern and others. For now if I were running Acme's id be happy to break even and bring back their once loyal consumers. I won't give locations, but one chain opened a new store next to Acme and the day it opened they had a banner across the front that stated "WE WILL BEAT ACME PRICES" Acme MUST be more aggressive when companies are so brazen as to open within feet of their stores and mock their prices.

  6. Would I be forgiven for thinking this was a PathMark? I know it wasn't but I'm surprised nobody else has pointed out how much of a dead ringer this store's exterior is for a contemporary PathMark.