Prior to Albertsons takeover of Acme in 2013, same-store sales at the one-time Greater Philadelphia market leader were negative in 27 of the previous 28 quarters. Today, thanks in large part to the parent company's "operating playbook," Acme is performing better than it has in years.
According to a Supermarket News story last week, new leadership immediately boosted store standards, customer service and community involvement. In addition, it empowered local buyers to make buying and merchandising decisions, and added "aggressive muscle" to price and promotions.
These efforts paid off quickly. And recently, Acme aggressively pursued stores left vacant by the A&P bankruptcy filing. In all, they bought 73 former A&P, Pathmark and SuperFresh stores for $293 million. The purchase returned Acme to the Northern New Jersey, New York and Connecticut market.
The company's "operating playbook" was applied to the purchased stores, and customers are seeing the results. One Acme shopper told Supermarket News that "customer service is now a major priority, and the store has become the cleanest grocery store I've ever shopped in."
Industry expert Bob Gorland of Matthew P. Casey & Associates believes Acme is a healthier company than it used to be. In addition, he pointed out that they are doing things they weren't doing a few years ago, like remodeling more stores and adding beer cafes.