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This article is about Acme Markets, the Philadelphia-area division of Supervalu. For the Akron, Ohio based chain, see Acme Fresh Market.
Acme Markets is a Philadelphiamarker-based supermarket chain owned by Eden Prairie, Minnesotamarker-based corporation Supervalu.Acme was founded in 1891 by Samuel Robinson and Robert Crawford in South Philadelphia and now operates about 130 supermarkets in Delawaremarker, Marylandmarker, New Jerseymarker and Pennsylvaniamarker under the Acme name.

History

Acme Markets logo used from the 1980s until 1994.
This logo can still be seen in many Acme brand products.


In 1917, Robinson and Crawford merged Acme Markets with four other Philadelphia-area grocery chains, and the combined company was named American Stores. In 1947, it began opening stores in downtowns with white porcelain storefronts, and introduced a new logo. From 1951 to 1954, it built stores with the same logo and porcelain, but in freestanding stores, sometimes in shopping centers. It introduced a new logo in 1961, and replaced the "Acme Markets" or "Acme Super Markets" banners with simply "Acme". In 1963, it began building stores with a peaked roof, many in shopping centers, which averaged . These were built until 1972. The company acquired Californiamarker's Alpha Beta stores in 1961. In 1978, it acquired many former Pantry Pride and Penn Fruit stores from bankrupt Food Fair. American Stores was acquired in 1979 by Skaggs Drug Centers which took the American Stores name, and relocated the headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utahmarker. That same year, the company announced that it would be closing most of its store locations in New Yorkmarker state.

In 1984 American Stores acquired Jewel Companies, Inc., which included several large chains: Jewel and Jewel-Osco in the Chicago area; Eisner Foods in downstate Illinois and Indiana (later merged into Jewel-Osco); Buttrey Food & Drug in Montana and other Western states; Star Market in New England; Osco Drug in the Midwest, Northwest, and New England, and Sav-on Drugs in California, Nevada, and Texas. In 1988 it acquired Lucky Stores, also in California, and then divested Alpha Beta to the Yucaipa Cos., Buttrey Food & Drug was spun off to its management, which subsequently sold the chain to Albertsons (prior to American Stores merger with Albertsons); and Star Market was sold to Investcorp, which subsequently sold the chain to J Sainsbury plcmarker, who merged it with their Shaw's Supermarkets chain, which was itself sold to Albertsons in 2004.

Acme was acquired by Albertsons in November 1999, and in turn was acquired by Supervalu in 2006.

Current operations

The company is the largest food and drug retailer in the competitive market, where it competes with multiple chains, including Ahold's Giant-Carlisle, Giant-Landover, and Stop & Shop; A&P's Pathmark, Super Fresh, A&P, and Food Basics; Safeway and its subsidiary Genuardi's; Wakefern Food Corporation's Shop Rite; Wal-Mart Supercenter, North Carolinamarker based Food Lion as well as other smaller chains in various markets.

Acme offers online grocery shopping for orders that can be picked up at the store or delivered to the customer. In 2004, Acme Markets was among the first to introduce self-checkout stands, where shoppers could scan and bag their own groceries. In 2008, many Acme locations began adding hot foods bars to the deli section.

In addition to its stores in 5 Pennsylvania counties (Bucksmarker, Chestermarker, Delawaremarker, Montgomerymarker, and Philadelphiamarker) the company also operates stores in 2 counties in the state of Delaware (Kentmarker and New Castlemarker), 5 counties in the state of Maryland (Cecilmarker, Harfordmarker, Kentmarker, Queen Anne'smarker, and Talbotmarker), and 16 counties in the state of New Jersey (Atlanticmarker, Burlingtonmarker, Camdenmarker, Cape Maymarker, Cumberlandmarker, Gloucestermarker, Hudsonmarker, Mercermarker, Middlesexmarker, Monmouthmarker, Morrismarker, Oceanmarker, Passaicmarker, Salemmarker, Sussexmarker, and Unionmarker).

Acme once had a heavy presence in Sussex County in Delaware and Wicomico County in Maryland. In 2001, Acme closed their Millsboromarker, Milfordmarker, and Selbyvillemarker stores in Delawaremarker and their Salisburymarker store in Marylandmarker. The Millsboro closure occurred during a bad period for the town, leaving only one store, North Carolina-based competitor Food Lion. Reasons for the closures were said due to rising costs and increased competition, while it is believed Supervalu closed these stores in order to keep their Sav-a-Lot stores from having competition from Acme stores. In the 1960's, Acme stores were found in most cities in Sussex County, Delaware.

There is belief that Supervalu will open new Acme stores in Delaware in the future to regain a presence in more markets, but current economic conditions make it uncertain.

Loyalty Card

Acme's loyalty card, called the Acme SuperCard, or simply "Acme Card," is used by customers to gain savings not available to those without a loyalty card. Acme runs many specials and savings that one can only gain by using their card. Also, for Thanksgiving and Easter, Acme gives away a free turkey, ham, or party sized lasagna to those customers who have spent $300 in an allotted amount of time using their SuperCard. In June 2008, Acme launched a program, called "More Ways to Save at Acme." This program features a variety of items which the supermarket claims it has lowered prices on. As part of this program, the company has also started accepting double coupons (with values up to $0.99.)

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