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    A&P Names Merch/Marketing Team Members, Plans to Shutter 32 Stores

    The moves aim to help the grocer regain its financial footing.

    As it grapples with the financial problems that led it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late last year, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. (A&P) has appointed six newly recruited executives to its merchandising and marketing team, which will develop strategies for enhancing value for shoppers while lowering structural and operating costs: The team members are Marie Robinson, SVP of supply & logistics; Nancy Gaddy, VP of deli & bakery; Kevin Broe, VP of own brands; Harry Giglio, VP of meat & seafood; Bob Weidner, VP of customer experience & space management; and Corey Pearson, VP of pricing & analytics.

    “A key element of our comprehensive turnaround is to further enhance value for our customers and their shopping experience in our stores through our broad selection of food products and superior service,” noted A&P EVP merchandising & marketing Tom O’Boyle. “Marie, Nancy, Kevin, Harry, Bob and Corey are proven, high-caliber leaders, and their combined expertise will significantly strengthen our Merchandising & Marketing organization and supply chain, and advance our operational and financial restructuring.”

    Robinson has more than two decades of supply and logistics experience, leading both self-distribution and outsourced supply chain operations. Before joining A&P, she was the SVP, supply & logistics for Los Angeles-based Smart & Final, and has held similar roles at Walmart and Toys R Us.

    Before coming to A&P, Gaddy was VP, deli, bakery and food service operations for Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie. Her more than 23 years of experience in deli and bakery services include positions at Ahold and Ingles Market.
    Broe has more than 26 years of retail experience in roles of increasing responsibility. Before A&P, he was VP, sales & merchandising, own brands for Minneapolis-based Supervalu. Earlier in his career, he held management roles at American Company Stores, Bruno’s Inc. Petsmart, Cub Foods and Factory Card Outlet.

    Giglio brings more than 30 years of corporate and field management in food retail through management posts at Stop & Shop and Shaw’s. His most recent position before A&P was VP, perishables for Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets.

    Weidner’s over 30 years of retail experience include management positions of at Jewel Food Stores. Most recently, he was SVP, US operations for Lisle, Ill.-based PRISM.

    Pearson has more than 32 years of merchandising experience in food retail and has worked at such companies such as Cub Foods and Biggs. Before joining A&P, he was director of merchandising execution for Minneapolis-based Supervalu.

    Additionally, A&P has filed a motion seeking approval to close 32 stores in six states as the Montvale, N.J.-based company continues its comprehensive financial and operational restructuring. The store closures are expected to occur around April 15, subject to court approval.

    “While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, communities and employees, these actions are absolutely necessary as we work to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance,” said A&P president and CEO Sam Martin. “We will help our affected colleagues pursue other positions across the company should open positions be available.”

    According to the filing: “Working with their advisors, the debtors have devised a systematic process to identify store closure candidates. In particular, this analysis has focused on each store’s current and projected profitability, as well as each store’s potential for rehabilitation. In order to mitigate the ongoing negative EBITDA and cash flow impact of these stores ….”

    A&P is encouraging its longtime customers to shop at its other stores near closing locations, and emphasizes that the company's commitment to shoppers is stronger than ever. “Even as we reduce our store base and drive efficiencies across our company, we continue to take other important steps to enhance our customers’ overall shopping experience, including upgrading our private label brands,” noted Martin. “We are moving forward aggressively to make strategic decisions that will position A&P for a strong future.”

    Montvale, N.J.-based A&P operates 395 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the following banners: A&P, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Super Fresh and Food Basics.
     

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