When is it going to end?
Another local grocery store closing – this time it’s Acme in Wayne.
The Acme chain, part of the Supervalu network of grocery stores, operates 123 stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland is shuttering 6 stores, including one in Limerick and Wayne. The Wayne Acme is located at 300 E. Lancaster Ave. (Rt. 30).
This week a brief statement was provided by Supervalue in regards to the Acme store closings. Spokesman Steve Sylven suggested that these locations “are not meeting corporate goals.” He further remarked that, “Acme strives to ensure the success of all its stores. However, it is occasionally necessary to close those that are not meeting company goals in today’s competitive and difficult economic environment.”
Wayne’s Acme has long been rumored to be closing but it looks like it is no longer just a rumor. The lease on the property is up in March and will not be renewed. A blog, Acme Style, is dedicated to ‘Preserving the History of Acme Markets’ and features pictures and stories of closed, abandoned and repurposed Acme grocery stores. (Photo is this article provided courtesy of Acme Style.)
Are you curious as to what the landlord has planned for the property post-Acme closing? I understand that the landlord has plans to break up the space and create multiple restaurants . . . Panera Bread, Five Guys and Chipotle have been mentioned as possibilities.
So we have economy driving corporate decisions for grocery store closings but people have money to go to restaurants; what’s wrong with this picture!
Of course I was not going to miss Opening Day at Wegmans. I actually ended up going to the store twice today. The first time was around noon, but after spending 20 min. finding a parking space, I discovered that once inside there was no available space to move! The crowds were overwhelming (to be expected!) and in less than 10 min. I found myself back in my car headed home.
But around 7 PM, my husband and I set out again for Wegman’s; Jeff wanted to experience the Pub. The food, service and staff were amazing and so friendly. The beer selection lives up to Wegmans advertising; over 800 kinds including micro-brews and International brands. All beer is offered in 6-packs and most are available to try as singles. Wegmans Pub has a full-service bar so grocery-shopping may have just gotten more exciting!
As we were leaving Wegmans, we stopped by the Gelato Italian ice cream kiosk – fabulous! Today’s grand opening certainly didn’t disappoint . . . but I have a feeling it may be quiet at the Paoli Acme for a while.
Wegmans on Rt. 29 in Malvern is opening Sunday morning, less than 48 hours. Maybe if you live in the eastern part of the township, this news is not nearly as exciting; but for many of us in the Great Valley Wegmans will actually be the closest grocery store. If you have follow Community Matters, you know I’m a Wegmans groupie (nearing obsession). . . and yes, my husband and I plan to be there on opening day.
An amusing aside to Wegmans opening is Acme’s new game plan of counter attack with over-the-top customer service. I’m in the Paoli Acme at least 3 times a week and I have noticed that during the last 30 days there has been a noticeable customer service upgrade. All employees, regardless of the hour of the day, are now falling over themselves with hellos, can I help yous, etc. In addition, they have now outfitted 8-10 employees with yellow vests whose job is to take customers groceries to the parking lot. The customer service has risen to such a high level that I actually kidded a clerk yesterday about the over-the-top friendliness of staff (and remarked, that I assumed it was due to Wegmans upcoming opening). And yes, Acme is concerned with the ‘new kid on the block’ and the clerk reported that there have been 2 mandatory employee customer service meetings in the last 30 days . . . the game plan is to woo their customers back after the novelty of Wegmans wears off. Hmm, we will see!