MONTVALE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A&P) today announced that it has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking approval to close 14 stores in four states as the Company prepares to emerge from Chapter 11. The store closures are expected to be completed in the Company's fiscal first quarter, subject to court approval.
A&P President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Martin said, "We are continuing to take the steps necessary to position A&P to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strong future and ensure that we remain focused on our top priority – providing great value and service to our customers every day. As part of our preparations to emerge from Chapter 11, we have decided to close these 14 underperforming locations. While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, associates and the surrounding communities, these actions are absolutely necessary as we continue to strengthen A&P's operating foundation and improve our performance.”
As part of the store closing process, A&P will work to facilitate future store assignments based on associates’ collective bargaining agreements. The Company will also encourage loyal customers to shop at its other neighborhood stores in close proximity to the closing store locations.
This release contains forward-looking statements about the future performance of the Company, which are based on management's assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained herein. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements including, but not limited to: the ability to timely and effectively implement the turnaround strategy; the ability to access capital and capitalize on unencumbered and under-encumbered assets; the ability to enter into sale-leaseback transactions or sell non-core assets; various operating factors and general economic conditions; competitive practices and pricing in the food industry generally and particularly in the Company's principal geographic markets; the Company's relationships with its employees and the terms of future collective bargaining agreements; certain actions may require Bankruptcy Court approval; the risk that the bankruptcy filing and the related cases disrupt the Company’s current plans and operations; the costs and other effects of legal and administrative cases and proceedings; the nature and extent of continued consolidation in the food industry; capital market conditions that may negatively affect the Company's cost of capital and the ability of the Company to access capital; availability of capital to the Company; supply or quality control problems with the Company's vendors; and changes in economic conditions that may affect the buying patterns of the Company's customers.
Founded in 1859, A&P is one of the nation's first supermarket chains. The Company operates 336 stores in six states under the following trade names: A&P, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Superfresh and Food Basics.