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TOUR: ACME Markets - Randolph, NJ

ACME Markets
Opened: 2002
Previous Tenants: Grand Union planned, never opened
Location: 690 Millbrook Ave, Mount Freedom, Randolph, NJ
Photographed: May 2016 & July 2020
Our final Dover area store is also one of the very first supermarkets I photographed back in May of 2016! I returned in July of 2020 to find that it was fully renovated, and we'll be seeing both sets of pictures in this post. Our other tour today, by the way, is also here in Randolph at the Weis.
The 42,000 square foot store was planned as a Grand Union but never opened as one, opening as ACME in 2002. The store is slightly smaller than the Weis but seems to do pretty well, in part because it's tucked away on Sussex Turnpike in a residential neighborhood that's fairly distant to any other supermarkets.
Here's a link to Acme Style's 2011 post, and let's jump into my 2016 photos...
The grand aisle has produce on the right side with deli and bakery on the left side. Meat and seafood line the back wall, with dairy/frozen on the right side wall. Pharmacy is in the front right corner. Notice the ala carte station here, which I believe was removed in the Quality Built remodel.
I've always thought this was a very attractive store. I've come to have a bit more of a negative view on Quality Built because as much as I like to see updates in the acquired A&P stores, the reality is that it's a downgrade in a lot of the legacy ACME locations like this one.
That said, I think Quality Built is a good equalizer -- the ACME stores certainly look more similar then they ever have, and there isn't so much variation among the stores. This decor package, for instance, can look like it does here in Randolph, or it can look like this. Quality Built seems to be of basically the same "deluxeness" level in each store.
My 2016 tour is pretty limited, but we get some good shots of the decor.
Here's the pharmacy and HABA department in the front.
Floral is on the front wall next to customer service. Now that wraps up my 2016 pictures, and I returned for a much better and clearer set of pictures in 2020...
We start with a look at the coffee shop in the front left corner.
The Quality Built decor is not unattractive for sure, and I really like the fixture and flooring updates, but it's flat (both literally and figuratively). It's not nearly as exciting as the older decor.
Deli and prepared foods are now all on the perimeter wall, as the ala carte island has been removed.
Note that this (poorly centered) bakery sign is placed on a gray wall instead of a brown one because the bakery service counter is on the same wall as the deli counter.
Looking back up towards the front of the grand aisle. The flooring has actually been replaced throughout the store...
We can see that this store is plenty large but not enormous.
Frozen is in the middle of the store, in aisles 7 and 8.
Although ACME tends to use a standardized program for all their stores, there is one notable difference here: a Kosher dairy selection. It's not large, but this is the only store in the area with any at all.
Looking back up towards the grand aisle. I think the Quality Built decor actually looks pretty good here because of the store's bones, similar to what we saw in Freehold.
14 aisles in total, and notice how short they are...
...especially in 14, which is shortened for the pharmacy in the front corner.
Notice that floral has been removed from this corner and is moved over to the right side near the entrance. Unfortunately, that leaves this corner quite a bit dead. This is past the end of the front-end...
That wraps up our Dover group, and make sure to check out the Weis in town here! Up next we're headed to the northwest of the state, so come back tomorrow for a look at what is to come. Stay tuned!


  1. Great pictures and great post! Nice to be able to see thorough coverage of the store before and after the remodel.

    I actually prefer the flatness of QB here. The previous décor was a little busy in some areas. Makes the store look classier now. The flooring appears to have been replaced throughout the entire store. That doesn't happen often! All the funky floor patterns in frozen and HABA are gone.

    Notice the deli wall color is different. A little more gray than the usual blue. I like it. Really odd that they didn't paint the bakery wall brown above the service counter. They've done transitions with the colors on the same wall in other remodels. There's even a line on the wall between the departments that would have made for the perfect transition point.

    Random thought... I wonder why they don't hang a department sign for produce above the cases. They did that with the PFH v3 package. Just strange to me that the free standing produce departments (most often seen at converted A&P/Pathmarks) never have a QB department signage.

    I think this store got one of the nicest QB remodels out there! Must be a good money maker.

    1. Missed you mentioning the flooring throughout the store had been replaced the first time I read the post. Not something that happens often in these remodels! The stores in my area have gotten a lot of patch work done but no full replacements except for Hoboken which is a small store.

    2. The official opening date for this store was October 1, 2002.

      Acme Style, I'm very curious as to how you'd rank the Quality Built decor when compared to the other decor packages that Acme used over the years. (I'm personally not a huge fan of the decor package, as I think it is rather flat/bland. That said, I don't dislike the Quality Built decor.)

      As I mentioned in the comments section for the Randolph Weis, I was puzzled as to why Acme, ShopRite, and Stop & Shop all decided against acquiring the former A&P. In the case of Acme, its current Randolph store appears to do well, so I could see that chain's reluctance to relocate even though the A&P-turned-Weis has a better location.

      --A&P Fan

    3. Thanks, Acme Style! Yes, this has always been a really nice store, I agree that QB looks really good in this space. And yes, there should be a produce sign! I don't know how this store's volume is, since all the times I've been here it's been busy enough, but not packed. I rarely go here, though, and usually not at peak times so I don't know what it's like then.

  2. Seems interesting - while I could see this as a Grand Union design, it seems odd that they were building this while the other couple stores that I know of (the one that actually opened in Albany and the one that sat uncompleted for years outside Poughkeepsie before Ocean State opened there) were a far different style (the Mega Save branding).

    Maybe just since this was on the small(er) side, comparing to what those two were (or scheduled to be)?

    1. I think, first off, that the only Grand Union remnant here is the exterior. As far as I can tell, the interior is 100% ACME. And as for the design, I think because of the location they were going for a smaller and lower-key store. If you haven't yet, check out this store on Google Maps. You'll see that it's at a corner of two rather small roads, and nowhere near the main retail corridor in the area on route 10. So I don't think the Megasave format would work really well in this particular spot.

    2. Makes sense - as I look at it again (particularly with the clocktower at one end) it reminds me of a store they had in Clifton Park (NY), though that one is no longer around (it became Kohl's, and they did their standard facade removal so from the outside it looks just like any Kohl's of the two-entry variety).

      I guess I was just surprised that they would have been working with multiple designs given how close they were to going bankrupt, but then again that doesn't always stop these companies from trying things :)


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