Acme Fresh Market
|Founder||Frederick Wilhelm Albrecht|
|Jim Trout (President)|
Nick Albrecht (Executive Vice President)
|Products||Grocery, Pharmacy, Dairy, Frozen, Organic, Produce, Deli, Meat, Bakery, Floral, Alcohol, General merchandise|
Frederick Wilhelm Albrecht, a native of Massillon, Ohio, started in the grocery business when he gained control of his brother’s local store. In 1891, he opened his own store in Akron, called Albrecht's Grocery. After visiting an Acme store in Philadelphia (currently, a supermarket chain owned by Albertsons), Albrecht soon renamed his small corner grocery store "Acme". He also changed his business to conduct cash-only sales. More "Acme Cash Stores" soon opened around the Akron area, reaching 40 locations by 1918. After ceasing home-delivery operations, Albrecht renamed his stores once again to “Acme Cash Basket Stores.” Acme grew to over 100 stores, both large and small, by the 1930s.
The Great Depression and World War II brought a decline in consumer behavior and caused Acme to halt its expansion. Following the war, Acme began to experiment in the Supermarket business, opening their first such location in 1952. In 1966, the 75th anniversary of the business, the last of the small corner stores was closed.
In 1965, Acme opened a subsidiary retail chain called Click. The Click stores were department stores with a full-sized Acme grocery store under one roof. The first Acme-Click store was in Stow (currently Fresh Market #17). In the 1970s, Acme joined with Youngfellow Pharmacy to open Y-Mart stores, a chain of pharmacy/convenience stores similar to Walgreens. After new competition entered the area, the Click stores were renamed Acme Super Centers in the early 1990s. The Y-Mart stores were renamed Acme Express in 1996. At the end of the 1990s, the Super Centers and Express stores were closed. Some of the Super Centers were converted into Acme Fresh Markets, while others were sold. The Acme Express stores were sold to CVS/pharmacy. This was part of the company's effort to downsize and re-brand the remaining stores as Acme Fresh Market.
After the loss of their local Acme store in 1997, residents in West Akron rallied for a new supermarket to move in. Henry Johnson, a longtime Acme employee, worked with Acme and the city to open a new grocery store. Henry's Acme, the company's first and only franchise location, opened in 2000. Following a decline in business, as well as new competition in the area, the store closed its doors in 2014.
There are currently sixteen Acme Fresh Market stores, and two RSVP Food and Party Outlet locations.
Expansion and renovation
As the company moved away from non-food items and into the Fresh Market branding, many of the stores were remodeled and renovated. From the mid-2000s to the present, many of the older stores have undergone various renovations. These projects were to help modernize the facilities and to streamline and improve customer experience.
In 2006, one of Acme's competitors, Tops Markets, announced it was leaving Northeast Ohio and needed to sell off its 46 stores. Eight of these locations were in the Akron area, some of which originally operated as Finast. Acme President Steven T. Albrecht indicated to the Akron Beacon Journal that the company was going to "review the Tops Stores" to see if any "fit Acme's goals" Acme No. 11, located in Tallmadge, relocated to one of these former Tops stores across the street in 2007. Later that year, Acme purchased another Tops location in Parma, Ohio, which had been empty for one year. The new store opened on May 3, 2008 as Acme No. 20.
The company continued its renovation efforts in the late 2000s, with the Bailey Road, Ellet, Kenmore, Kent, and Stow locations receiving major overhauls. In November 2009, Acme opened a pharmacy inside the Akron General Health and Wellness Center in Stow. The pharmacy, designated Acme No. 30, has since closed.
In 2013, Acme completely rebuilt the store on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. The aging neighborhood store, nearly 60 years old, was ultimately replaced with a larger building featuring a nostalgic 1950s-style facade. In addition, the original Acme street sign, which stood outside the store from the 1940s to the mid-2000s, has been fully restored and reinstalled.
In 2014, Acme opened a brand new store in Green, Ohio. The 68,800 square foot store is the first new Acme facility to be built since 1990.
Albrecht, Inc., Acme's realtor, owns land in Medina, Ohio, and has plans for a 5 building shopping center anchored by a 68,000 square-foot Acme store.
The Acme Fresh Market Savings card is used to receive special discounts and sales throughout the store, and to earn Fuel Rewards. The card comes in both a wallet size and a keychain size. The current design features a mixed berry background.
In March 2009, Acme Fresh Market teamed with local Circle K stores to offer gasoline discounts. The program first launched at the Parma location, and the rest of the chain followed in May 2009. Shoppers earn rewards for buying select products throughout the store. The rewards are in a dollar and cent amounts off the total gasoline bill (rather than cents off per gallon). Along with the Acme Fresh Market Savings card, shoppers carry a Fuel Rewards card, which is used at the pump to redeem the credits earned. Acme #14 no longer has the fuel rewards system as of 2019
In 2006, several stores introduced QuickClinics. These small clinics offered patients exams and healthcare with a nurse practitioner. Two years later, ownership of the clinics switched to Akron General.
The clinics were shut down in 2010, before changing hands and reopening one year later under the "ExpressCare Clinic" brand. Currently, the clinics are located at Acme No. 2, 14, and 17.
Acme stores have a wide variety of wine and beer. Seven locations also have State Liquor licenses. In 2011, Acme started the "Mix-a-Six" program in the beer aisle. This is an empty six-pack carrier that customers can fill with six bottles from a selection of craft beers. Later that same year, Acme introduced Growler stations at some of its stores. These stations feature several craft beers on tap, which are dispensed into customer-purchased Acme beer jugs.
Acme's mascots, Buck the Dog, and his "girlfriend" Buffy, frequently visit the stores and local events. Store managers hand out Kid Dollars, featuring Buck's picture, to the young shoppers. The stores often put on events at holidays for children, including Breakfast with Santa Claus and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Acme also offers store tours to children.
|Acme Corporate Office||Acme No. 4||Acme No. 7||Acme No. 10||Acme No. 11|
|Acme No. 15||Acme No. 16||Acme No. 17||Acme No. 18||Acme No. 19|
|Montrose||North Canton||Stow||Kenmore||Jackson Township|
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- "Akron General to staff clinics in Acmes". Akron Beacon Journal. 2008-09-09.
- States, Larry (2009-09-08). "Acme-Akron General To Open Walk-In Clinics". AkronNewsNow. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07.