Why has Acme closed so many stores (over the years)?

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Re: Why has Acme closed so many stores (over the years)?

Post by pseudo3d »

Ephrata1966 wrote:There just seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. They seem to select stores at random. Albertsons closed a number of stores that were very dated. One analyst said they closed too many. Most Acmes were done justice by Albertsons, but many tanked soon after. Why? And what about the closures before that? I would think Acme would have capitalized on A&P's Philadelphia exit, since the collapse of Food Fair/Penn Fruit helped Acme so much. Buying up A&P stores would not have worked though, since Acme already had #1 market share, and gobbled up so many Food Fair properties. The anti-trust authorities already had a problem with the size of American Stores. In fact did ANY A&Ps become Acme? New Jersey is absolutely littered with abandoned Acmes to this day. Perhaps that is more a reflection on poorer towns, and maybe some of these were considered relocations? (Camden, Clementon, Berlin, Egg Harbor City, Browns Mills, Paulsboro, Williamstown) Either way, these stores all were vacated between 1990 and 1995! Is that not kind of an embarrassment to Acme? Did they just let some stores get so old and tired that they were too expensive to justify upgrades? Are the unions that costly? Who has closed the biggest percentage of their chain? Acme has always been relatively small, so how do their cutbacks compare to Safeway and Kroger? All I know is that A&P has had trouble because they thought their monopoly in many areas (long ago) would last forever. No need for them to compete. I have heard that many A&Ps right before the Centennial/Colonial era were filthy bottom of the barrel stores.
A&P's decline began when they realized that the market was changing and they had hundreds and hundreds of outdated stores with not enough capital to save them all, which led to their contraction over the course of several decades (their last 10 years could arguably be blamed on the Pathmark acquisition...which might've been why Acme never bought Pathmark wholesale).

Acme was never a whole chain like A&P or Safeway, and while American Stores focused on the moneymakers, like drug stores, Jewel-Osco, or Lucky, Acme declined, to the point where they put the chain up for sale in 1991, keeping it because the bids weren't high enough. So American Stores started repairing the chain itself, cutting out dated stores, and re-focusing it to be a modern supermarket, which was continued under Albertsons' control. SuperValu closed dozens of Acme stores, which was partially because they were struggling under the debt following the Albertsons deal,
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Re: Why has Acme closed so many stores (over the years)?

Post by TheQuestioner »

I remember when Acme was in the MD/DC/VA Metro area, 30+ years ago. They seemed like a perfectly valid competitor to the other second-tier chains around there at the time, but by the early 80s they had completely abandoned D.C. I thought the chain itself had gone out of business until an Acme made an appearance in a scene in "The Sixth Sense" in '99! I still wonder why they gave up. In the late 70s, the grocery scene hadn't yet been tied up by the Giant/Safeway duopoly that dominated for the following 20 years. With Grand Union, Pantry Pride, and A&P all either vanishing or severely declining from the region, it seems like they could have made a move. (In the end, Jumbo/Shoppers Food ended up taking the leftovers from Giant and Safeway's party.)
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Re: Why has Acme closed so many stores (over the years)?

Post by trex354 »

Simply stated, POOR UPPER MANAGEMENT!!!!!
At Acme, the management from the 70’s and 80’s continued to expand the great Acme Markets family. Even LSScaggs did a little expansion, but started dismantling the company in the 90’s.
Ever since Albertsons the company has declined. Any time shoprite opens within a rocks throw Acme cries we can’t afford this high lease. Even when they OWN a property, they blame the”magical” lease for the closure of a profitable location. Acme had some 700 stores in 7 eastern states with 12 distribution centers to keep their stores happily supplied.
Now there’s Safeway involved and a new store brand that has nothing to do with Acme. They’re telling everyone over the past five years it will increase chainwide buying power…and lose Acme brand recognition that built the House Of Quality. The same happened when StupidValue called the shots.
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Re: Why has Acme closed so many stores (over the years)?

Post by Groceteria »

Just a gentle reminder that discussions/critiques of current chain operations (as opposed to history) are off-topic here, but are very welcome at Retail Watchers.
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