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In keeping with an ambitious plan unveiled last month to reverse its currently lackluster fortunes, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. (A&P) said Friday that it would shutter 25 stores in five states. The units slated for closure include sites close to other A&P stores, those with real estate and cost issues, and underperforming non-core stores. The closings are expected to be completed in the A&P’s fiscal third quarter, according to the Montvale, N.J.-based grocer.
“As part of our turnaround, we have initiated a detailed review of our store footprint and have decided to close these 25 locations,” noted new A&P president and CEO Sam Martin, who was selected in July to lead the company’s turnaround in the wake of predecessor Ron Marshall’s abrupt departure. “While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, communities and employees, these actions are absolutely necessary to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance going forward. We will help our affected colleagues pursue other positions across the company should open positions be available.”
As the store closures occur, the company, which was eager to assure the public that the shuttered locations didn’t mean the venerable supermarket operator was going out of business, will direct longtime shoppers to other nearby stores it operates.
“We are moving forward aggressively to advance our turnaround and position A&P for a strong future,” stressed Martin. “Even as we reduce our store base and drive efficiencies across our company, A&P continues to remodel stores and take other important steps to enhance our customers’ experience across our store formats. To this end, we are set to reopen two newly remodeled stores in the coming month.”
The food retailer’s turnaround strategy aims to create sustained profitability and cash flow, increase sales, restore competitive margins to the business, and bolster the company’s foundation for the long term.
A&P currently operates 429 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the following banners: A&P, Waldbaum’s, Pathmark, Pathmark Sav-a-Center, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh and Food Basics.
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