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    Farmer Jack to Cut Stores, Staff in Michigan, Ohio

    DETROIT - Farmer Jack Supermarkets here has announced its plans to make wide-ranging cuts throughout Michigan and Ohio that could include wages, benefits, and possibly even closure of some of its 106 stores, the Toledo Blade reports.

    DETROIT - Farmer Jack Supermarkets here has announced its plans to make wide-ranging cuts throughout Michigan and Ohio that could include wages, benefits, and possibly even closure of some of its 106 stores, the Toledo Blade reports.

    "Everything is on the table -- real estate, utilities, taxes, wages, benefits -- as to how can we shrink waste," commented Farmer Jack spokeswoman Maria Ward. The company has not released specific plans on how or what kind of cuts it will make, but that will come soon, she added.

    Farmer Jack, a subsidiary of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., has discussed its plans with staff members at its corporate headquarters. A&P lost $72 million in 2001, almost $200 million in 2002, and $84 million in its latest fiscal quarter, and industry analysts say it must take action.

    No date has been set to implement the cuts, Ward said, but all departments have been told to seek reductions and report back with suggestions as soon as possible.

    "We could be looking at lease costs, how much we pay in rent, that kind of thing. I can't tell what we we'll do with that information until we get the recommendations," she said.

    This latest cost-cutting effort is the second phase of the company?s attempt to rejuvenate its supermarkets. The first happened last summer, when Farmer Jack got rid of its weekly price discounting in favor of an EDLP strategy, which additionally included some in-store changes.

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