ACME Closing in Wayne and Preventing Other Supermarkets from Going into Closed Sites?

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carla's picture
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As we learned on the $64000 question post that the Wayne ACME will be closing on February 11, 2011. We don't need more condo developments, nail salons or big box stores or drive thru anything, but we do need basics in our communities like GROCERY STORES. Not all of us dial for dining and live in restaurants. Or have staff to send great distances to do shopping at Wegmans.

Wayne will be left without a grocery store - and it serves many who walk or are on restrictive budgets or who are senior citizens - who will now be screwed. Yes, screwed.

While Bill Spingler, who reportedly worked for ACME once, is out getting himself expensive pocket parks and commissions on odd parcels of land radnor purchases and oh yes, saying a Drive Thru Rite Aid is GOOD for Wayne - you know walkable Wayne?

So anyway, it has been almost 3 years I think since I heard Best Buy went calling on Radnor Township - they had been interested at one time I was told in the ACME location - which is when I first heard the Wayne ACME was closing.

And now it is closing and Radnor residents will suffer. And of course the Inquirer article features some ACME blather about how "everyone" is going to places like Wegmans. News flash , not "everyone" has a car or the wallet for Wegmans.

And in the comments under the Inquier article was talk of how ACME had forbidden another location from replacing them with another grocery store when they left and killed a mall and area. You know like they are saying here in Wayne? That ACME will not let another grocery store go in? They are leaving, yet people who want and need a grocery store can't have one? Says who? Screw ACME, towns need grocery stores.

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And in Bryn Mawr the ACME is letting the ACME rot - there are leaks in the ceiling that drip into open food cases every time it rains and it smells again. And they keep saying they are rebuilding the store. But they were supposed to keep Wayne open until Bryn Mawr was rebuilt, so what is really going to happen in Bryn Mawr?

ACME didn't try in Wayne. They could have made the store "profitable" if they wanted, but they didn't and they had some of the laziest most un-customer minded employees ever.

So Mr. Bill you old fart, find Wayne a new grocery store and use your real estate "expertise" to make it happen. Get the rest of your commissioner pals in on it.

Posted on Wed, Jan. 5, 2011
Acme to shutter five Phila. area stores
By Maria Panaritis
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Acme Markets told workers this week that it will close five unprofitable Philadelphia-area stores by the end of February, three in South Jersey and two in Pennsylvania - locations union officials said were hurt by Wegmans and other competing chains.

The decisions "were made only after careful evaluation and were guided by what is best for Acme's long-term growth and success as a whole," parent company Supervalu Inc. said in a statement.

The shutdowns are in Limerick, Wayne, Moorestown, Cinnaminson, and Millville...A top union official blamed bad management at the corporate level for the supermarkets' failure to thrive.

"Unfortunately, it's not a surprise to us," said Wendell Young IV, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, which represents 116 clerks in Wayne and Limerick, but not meat cutters. "The reason they're closing the stores is because Supervalu is doing a lousy job of running the stores."

The Limerick market was built from the ground up just a few years ago - Acme shuttered a smaller, older store in nearby Collegeville to drive business to the new one, Young said. In short order, Giant opened a store across the street, and Wegmans opened one not too far away, as well.

The Collegeville Acme was older and smaller than the one in Limerick, but it had been doing OK, Young said. Now, Acme will have no supermarkets in that affluent stretch near the Route 42....

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hear say's picture
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The rumor about the Wayne Acme closing has been floating around for several years.

Here is what is not being mentioned. Acme is unionized. While that makes the employees stable, it also makes them too expensive to compete with non-union stores like Giant, Wegmans, and Genuardis. I know that I have seen many of the employees at the Acme in Bryn Mawr for more than 10 years. The margin on groceries is extremely low so every bit of expense hurts the bottom line.

In the stories on the TV news they mention the competition from Wegmans. While there is no convenient Wegmans for residents of Wayne, there is a Walmart. I like grocery shopping at Walmart except for the meats and fish. If Giant can pay a register worker 10$ an hour and Acme pays 20$ an hour(maybe more with the benefit package), you can see how Acme cannot compete.

People don't want to hear this, but my prediction is that Acme will close all of their stores in the Philadelphia are and reopen tham under a non-union name. They closed  most if not all of their stores in the Lehigh Valley when Giant and Walmart moved in. Its inevitable.

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chips's picture
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There is no other way to see this closing but BAD for Wayne.  I agree with Carla that the commissioners really dropped the ball on this one and that the ramifications of their inaction will be felt for a long time to come.

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elaine's picture
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I am not a big fan of unions but you can't always blame them.  Supervalue has done a piss poor job of managing and ha aquired way too much debt.  There are loans due in 2013 that they don't have the money for.  If they don't pay them off or get them refinanced (lol - they don't have the capital for that!) the stores will have to close.  I don't see the Acme grocery chain being around by the end of the year.

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elaine's picture
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I am not a big fan of unions but you can't always blame them.  Supervalue has done a piss poor job of managing and ha aquired way too much debt.  There are loans due in 2013 that they don't have the money for.  If they don't pay them off or get them refinanced (lol - they don't have the capital for that!) the stores will have to close.  I don't see the Acme grocery chain being around by the end of the year.

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carla's picture
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I also was told that ACME was pushed out of Wayne by property owners -  and I heard that from an ACME person.    However, many people walk to both the Wayne and Bryn Mawr ACMEs, so I see this closing as a bad thing for Wayne.  ACME also apparently will not be relocating any Wayne personnel to Bryn Mawr - I think they will push them to Devon, Paoli and other stores.

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Devon and Paoli are not on the list, so they can't go there.
However, Lawrence Park, King of Prussia and Newtown Square
are the closest ones on the list.

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hear say's picture
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FWIW I like the Devon Store. It is much nicer than Wayne. I am sure people felt the same way when Rosemont closed.

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carla's picture
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Devon is a monster store that people who live in and near the center of Wayne can't walk to - and there IS that population that walks

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At the Federation of Civics meeting tonight, Hank Wilson of Bryn Mawr Civic Association reported on conversations with Acme about the imminent 6-months closing of the Bryn Mawr Acme for renovation and expansion.  He said that when he asked where people who depend on the Bryn Mawr Acme were supposed to get their groceries, he was told they should go to Wayne.  That was two days before it was announced that the Wayne Acme was closing.  Then they told him that everyone should shop at the Narberth Acme.  Since a substantial proportion of the people who shop at the Bryn Mawr Acme don't have cars, it is not clear how this is supposed to work.

Maybe we're doomed to have all our supermarkets close around us, at which point we'll be begging Walmart to come in and save us from starvation.

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The Bryn Mawr Acme closing for renovations will be a big loss to those without cars and to seniors.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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carla's picture
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FoodSource will undoubtedly  be getting a lot of local business so maybe they will clean up a little and try reasonable prices I think people will  probably choose Genuardis too- the Superfresh in Gladwyne I don't think will be a big choice since it's remodel - it's LARGE on pre-packaged food and light on regular things and the service it used to have.  The Superfresh in Wynnewood is TOO dark a little dirty, crazy parking lot, nice people.  And then there is Trader Joes and Whole Foods. 

The people in the Bryn Mawr ACME all say they will believe the renovation when they see it happen when it happens - I heard May is when it begins.  Of course there is no word when the Pennswood Bridge will undergo repair and given the increased deterioration, holes and all other visible flaws, I hope there is not some tragedy with construction equipment and that thing.

An amusing thing was at the billboard hearing when the lawyer had referred to the abandoned jaguar site and ever the ace local planning wizard  Larry Waetzman and recipient of Ardmore pork funds at some point in time did not know the ACME was rebuilding in Bryn Mawr which I found almost unbelievable.  Waetzman of course criticized everything to do with the plans while out of the other side of his mouth he expects us all to believe there is nothing wrong with billboards in our communities.

I love how ACME lied to Hank - after all two days before they were closing those stores they knew Wayne was on the block again, only a question of when.

I do not understand how all these planning "experts" seem to think how we are supposed to exist without grocery stores in our communities - they squawk over plans for new urbanist Cinderella stories and Barbie's dream condo, yet nowhere do you see where Barbie is supposed to run and pick up mik or where Cinderella can walk in case there is a big snow storm or something.

Below is Sam Strike's story - the fact they can't get the mall property owner on the phone is amusing. Why hide at this point? Unless they do in fact have something to do with ACME leaving now?

Main Line Suburban Life > News
Video: Shoppers React to Wayne ACME closing
Published: Friday, January 07, 2011
By Sam Strike

After forty years operating near the intersection of Lancaster and Aberdeen avenues in Wayne, it looks as if the Acme grocery store will shut its doors imminently. That closing – to be replaced by a number of food and retail establishments ...According to a deed restriction on the sale of the property between Acme Markets, Inc. and then-property owner Lancaster Wayne Associates L.P. in June, 2007, no part of the property should be used for a grocery store if Acme were no longer a tenant.

The food restriction would not apply to restaurants.

Last year two eateries moved into the shopping center; two more may join them in addition to retail stores, sources say......Main Line Media News has attempted to contact the property’s owners, Baker Properties of Bryn Mawr....According to township officials, the property’s owners and township staff held a conference call with an Acme executive in early 2010 to explore the possibility of the deed restriction being lifted.

The township felt concerned that another supermarket could not be brought to the site and felt the restriction to be unfair, one official said.

Baumann said that although the proposed parking, zoning and uses are all code compliant for the redevelopment of the shopping strip, the increased traffic in and out of the center is concerning.

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Meanwhile . . .    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20110111_Supervalu_shares_fall_14__on_3Q_losses.html

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Greeeeeaaaaaaaaat. So much for the whole walking in Wayne concept. Drive thru pharmacies, and now no neighborhood supermarket.

I really cannot comment on the quality of that Acme though, due to the fact that the Devon Acme is now only a stone's throw from my house - and I also usually make the trek westward to Wegman's.

Of course, NOTHING can compare to the SPLENDID organic veggies that come out of the PHENOMENAL Skunk Farm at the BARGAIN price of eight hundred dollars a season (cough, cough, gag).

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bubbahotep's picture
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Maybe Trader Joes can move in once the Acme's leases are up!

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carla's picture
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I don't know about that because ACME seems to have these strange arrangements where they get it in their leases that once they vacate another grocery store can't go in to the vacated spots...it's that way in Wayne

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