Yesterday, the Gladwyne Civic Association briefed residents on the facts about the Gladwyne Acme closing to a packed house at St. Christopher's Episcopal. Below is a quick summary of what we know.
Acme Corporate (parent company Albertsons Companies) made the decision to close this branch because it did not fit their strategic profile for a contemporary grocery store. Today, high-performing grocery stores are large, with a minimum SF of approximately 40,000. The Gladwyne store is +/- 20,000.
The acme did obtain a liquor license in order to be able to serve and sell beer and wine, a strategy to increase margins, however they did not pursue this.
Acme has 3 more years left on their lease. They have retained the real estate services of Rick Weinberg at CBRE to help them find a new tenant for the space. The owners of the property "Merion Square Center, Inc." say that it is the Acme's responsibility to find a tenant for the remaining 3 years of their lease and that they are not entertaining offers.
Finally, to put to rest the rumors regarding the retaining wall in the back of the site- The township has inspected the wall, and finds to problems with it from their perspective. Any issue with the wall would be between the owners of the two properties. The wall is owned by the post office property. Everyone concerned reaffirmed that the Acme's departure has nothing to do with the back retaining wall, and everything to do with Acme Corporate's strategic planning for its stores.
There was much discussion about the future uses of the site and the effects of the new and old zoning laws. The new, more restrictive zoning code will come into effect on July 31st of this year.
Many residents also expressed their love for the employees of the Acme, which over the years have become like a second family to many of us.
I'm sure the Gladwyne Civic Association will post a more thorough summary of the meeting in coming days, however this is our quick take.