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    A&P, Bunzl Distribution Forge Agreement

    Company to provide store supplies, consumables to grocer’s banners

    The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. (A&P) has entered into an agreement with Bunzl Distribution USA LLC, under which Bunzl will serve as A&P's primary distributor for store supplies and consumables, providing A&P with a wide range of products, website ordering functionality and a competitive savings model, among other advantages.

    "Bunzl has the ability to source more effectively on our company’s behalf because of their greater purchasing power, reliability, and quick and effective turnaround," noted Nirup Krishnamurthy, chief strategy officer for Montvale, N.J.-based A&P.

    Bunzl, the largest division of London-based Bunzl plc, an international distribution and outsourcing group, is the top North American supplier of disposable paper and plastic packaging supplies to the retail grocery industry, including self-distributing chains and wholesalers. The distributor offers 60,000-plus items, among them plastic grocery bags, bakery boxes and deli trays. 

    "Our commitment to our customers is strong, and we are excited to work with A&P again," said Rick Maier, SVP, Bunzl Northeast. "We have a long history with the company and understand their needs. By partnering with the nation’s leading manufacturers, Bunzl is able to bring innovative solutions to A&P."

    News of the agreement comes in the wake of a report in the Bergen County Record, in New Jersey, stating that Jersey City, N.J.-based shopping bag and packing supplier Imperial Bag & Paper Co. had filed suit against A&P, seeking $3.7 million in overdue payments. The financially troubled grocer, which is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of some or all of its stores, responded that it would file a counterclaim against Imperial for breach of contract.

    A&P operates about 300 stores in six states under the following banners: A&P, Best Cellars, Food Basics, The Food Emporium, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaum's.

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