Covid. Plastic bag ban. And NOW you’re remodeling my grocery store?

Betsy Price Business, Headlines, Health

The Lantana Square Acme's remodeling has gotten a lot of consumer comment.

The Lantana Square Acme’s remodeling during a pandemic has gotten a lot of consumer comment.


Where’s the beef?

And the milk, the bread and the fruit?

Shoppers who frequent Acme in Lantana Square may be wondering where to find the items they’re seeking as the 57,000+ square foot store undergoes a “reorganization,” with products being moved from the familiar spaces they have been in for nearly five years. 

The reorg has been a popular topic on the Hockessin Gossip Girl site on Facebook.

Dana Ward, public affairs manager for the Mid-Atlantic region of Acme, said the remodel is being done to “make room for new products and offerings. Periodically, we have to rearrange the store to make that happen.”

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But shoppers are questioning the timing of the shuffle and why it’s being done during a pandemic as well as during the first month of the ban on plastic bags. 

“To me, it doesn’t make sense they’re doing it right now,” said Tita Cherrier of Greenville. “You have COVID restrictions, while also trying to move your way around what they are doing.”

Cherrier said it’s inconvenient to spend more time in the store looking for items, particularly with the threat of COVID.  

Alli Benham agrees.

“It’s a poor time to have to wander around when it’s ideal to get in and get out as quickly as you can,” sad Benham, of Newark. “I imagine it will be a good arrangement when it’s all said and done, but it is a messy process to navigate around.”

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But it seems plans – and funding — for the remodel were already in place long before the pandemic hit, according to Ward.

“Capital funding, architectural drawings, local permits, equipment planning and ordering take many months, Ward noted. “This year is unprecedented, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the funds are there.”

She said the stores have to take advantage of any funding when they receive it.

“Every year, there’s only so many projects allowed, so if you don’t get them done in that timeframe, they don’t get done at all,” she said.

As for the plastic bag ban, Acme decided to forego the charge on bags – for now. But it’s started handing out sturdier plastic bags with nice handles. It’s easy to imagine them getting reused for many things.

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“We understand Delaware’s ban on single-use plastic can be frustrating,” said Ward in a statement. “Effective Jan. 11, Acme will not charge for paper bags or the 2.5 mil plastic reusable bags. Acme will continue to stock a 2.5 mil plastic reusable bag for customer use free of charge; however, it may be subjected to a 10-cent fee down the line.”

In addition, due to the ongoing paper bag shortage once the current stock of paper bags is depleted, they will no longer be available, she said.

ACME encourages customers to bring in their own reusable bags when possible.

The new layout of the Lantana Square store will include a new flow to compliment the perishable departments and improve the ease of overall shopping.

Ward explained that Acme’s ‘reset team’ is updating the location of items of items on a daily basis.

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“Some categories are staged in temporary locations until they are ready for their final placement,” she said. “Once the reset is complete, the store will have an updated store directory.”

Where items are located is based on the ease of customer shopping, she said.  Acme’s ultimate goal is to ensure that complimentary categories are located close to one another to help shoppers navigate during a shopping trip. 

The deli, bakery and pharmacy will all remain in the same spots, said Ward.

“We thank our customers for their patience as we make improvements to the store and our selection of products,” said Ward.  

Several area supermarkets have undergone reorganizations in the past few years, including the Acme in Pike Creek Shopping Center and the Super G on Concord Pike.

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“It’s never convenient to remodel a grocery store,’ said Darren Wright of Middletown, “but once it’s complete, it’s usually 100 percent better.”

Sarah Landis of Hockessin is looking forward to the end result, expected to come by the end of February.

“The store needed an update for sure,” said Landis. “Hoping it will bring good change!”





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