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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Farewell, my Acme

A story headlined "Acme to close in Marlboro, Freehold Twp.'' isn't one I'm likely to read on most days. But that Acme in Freehold Towship is my Acme, so I read on with mixed feelings. Even though it's within long walking distance from my home, I was hardly a frequent visitor. Obviously I wasn't alone, as a corporate spokesman said the store was closing because it never met sales expectations.

That conclusion shouldn't have surprised Acme executives. The store is an adjacent shopping center away from a thriving Foodtown serving a ready audience: the 3,100 residents of the Raintree development. And Wegman's opened five miles or so north, bringing its fresh fruit, vegetables and all sorts of variety to the area and forcing Foodtown to adjust well to the competition. Didn't the Acme folks study the market and its demographics before locating there?

But still it's sad to see any store close. It was so easy to get around this Acme because it was never crowded. The shelves were well stocked, the sales help was friendly. Competition is supposed to be good for consumers. But like real estate, it's all about location. And this one didn't cut it.

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