American Stores-era ACME history

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
pseudo3d
Senior Member
Posts: 343
Joined: 24 Sep 2012 00:04

American Stores-era ACME history

Post by pseudo3d » 20 Feb 2020 17:07

Maybe I'm remembering this wrong, but as of about five years ago or so there used to a page that covered the early days of American Stores' ACME (American Stores as the original parent of Alpha Beta and ACME, not 1980s and 1990s-era ASC). The only thing I can find is this single page covering the first 100 years of ACME, but I tend to remember specific dates and that it went into the 1990s, not stopping at 1991, along with multiple pages of history.

Like I said, it could be just my imagination, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Ephrata1966
Senior Member
Posts: 550
Joined: 29 Nov 2008 13:45

Re: American Stores-era ACME history

Post by Ephrata1966 » 06 Apr 2020 03:20

I'm sorry for not seeing your question sooner! I think I remember exactly what website you are thinking of! It was a website called www.cruisecloseouts.com (I have no idea why this website for a small Florida cruise company had a HUGE retail history section... it had history pages for a LOT of retail companies, not just Acme/American Stores) on their website. But I was sure happy they did! Thanks to the wonderful Wayback Machine, I was able to see the archived page with the timeline you may remember. I copied and pasted the timeline and made some edits to it in this post, both to correct some minor factual errors as well as minor spelling/grammar errors. And I should let you know a little "secret"... the name of the chain is actually Acme, not ACME (and the official name is Acme Markets). I'm not sure why, but there seems to be a misconception all over the Internet that the name is written in all caps. Even the current Cerberus owners of Acme seem to not know the correct capitalization. Take a look at the Acme website and Facebook page for evidence. While the current logo (used for 28 years now!) is all caps, as were the last three logos before it, the chain in the 1950s was known on store signage as Acme Markets, and articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer in recent years have referred to it as Acme and Acme Markets, proving it is not supposed to be all caps. The company dropped "markets" from the logo and informal name starting with their beautiful 1960s/1970s logo (I'm not sure what exact year it was first used, but I would guess 1962) and since that logo is all caps, I suppose people seeing it (as well as the three logos they have used since the iconic logo was retired around 1980) started assuming the name was officially written in all caps. But in my humble opinion, the chain's current management should know better! Anyway, here's the slightly edited (by me) Acme timeline I found:
1872 - Child's Grocery Co. is founded in Pennsylvania.
1887 - Acme Tea Company is founded in Pennsylvania.
1888 - George Dunlap Company is founded in Pennsylvania.
1890 - The Bell Company is founded in Pennsylvania.
1891 - A grocery store named "The House That Quality Built" is founded in Philadelphia
1917 - American Stores Company is founded when five small grocery chains (Child's, Acme Tea, George Dunlap, Bell Co. and A House That Quality Built) merge.
1920 - Acme Markets has 1,223 stores
1925 - Acme Markets has 1,792 stores
1946 - A proposed acquisition of the Grand Union chain is turned down by Grand Union stockholders.
1961 - Acquires California-based Alpha Beta.
1968 - In order to compete with lower-priced supermarket operators such as the then-new Pathmark chain (and ShopRite, which Pathmark broke off from) which did not offer trading stamps, Acme Markets launches its Super Saver discount grocery chain.
1979 - Company was purchased by Skaggs Companies. The new merged company is named American Stores Company.
1984 - American Stores purchases Jewel Companies.
1988 - Company purchases California-based Lucky Stores
1991 - Due to an antitrust suit, the company is forced to sell 74 Jewel-Osco stores in Texas and Florida, 145 Alpha Beta stores in California, and 59 drugstores, most of which were in California.
1992 - The company reorganizes into three divisions:
1) Jewel Companies (Jewel/Jewel-Osco, Acme Markets, and Star Market)
2) Lucky Stores
3) American Drug Stores (Sav-on Drugs and OscoDrug)
1997 - American Stores Company becomes publicly traded and LS Skaggs loses control.
1998 - The company sells its Buttrey Food & Drug chain to Albertsons.
1999 - American Stores Company is acquired by Albertsons. American Stores Company at the end operates 1,558 stores in 25 states under the Acme, Lucky, Jewel/Jewel-Osco, OscoDrug, and Sav-on Drugs banners:
267 food/drug combination stores
540 supermarkets without pharmacies
751 drugstores
2006 - Supervalu, CVS, and an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management acquire Albertsons assets for a total of $17.4 billion.
2008 - Supervalu operates 129 Acme supermarkets in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

pseudo3d
Senior Member
Posts: 343
Joined: 24 Sep 2012 00:04

Re: American Stores-era ACME history

Post by pseudo3d » 07 Apr 2020 12:59

That wasn't it. Besides, none of the website links even on Archive.org seem to work without dozens of redirects.

I'm thinking maybe the original article linked above was it, anything bigger than that was a figment of my imagination.

Post Reply