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The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past summer and has been selling off its assets, has accepted a stalking-horse offer of $1.75 million from Key Food Stores Co-operative Inc. to acquire The Food Emporium banner and related brands.
The Food Emporium is a chain of fine food and grocery stores in the New York metropolitan area that has operated under the ownership of Montvale, N.J.-based A&P since 1993. Under the deal, Staten Island, N.Y.-based Key Food will purchase The Food Emporium's banner, trademarks, domain names, e-commerce business and mobile application. The proposed bid deadline for higher and better offers is Nov. 30 at 5:00 p.m.
Key Food has already purchased 23 brick-and-mortar stores from A&P -- 10 Waldbaum's, four Food Emporiums, three Pathmarks, three A&Ps and three Food Basics -- for $87 million, bringing its store count to 225 and positioning it to rake in $3 billion in retails sales by 2020, as the company noted at its recent Vendor Summit, held late last month.
Advisory firm Hilco Streambank is acting as A&P's sales consultant as it seeks to jettison its brands.
In other A&P news, the New York Post reported that A&P has so far been unable to get buyers for 100 of its 296 stores, which the newspaper attributed to unfavorable locations or unsatisfactory lease agreements. Although thousands of associates stand to be laid off by Thanksgiving, when the last of the grocer's stores close, one bright spot is that Acme and Stop & Shop, which bought 71 and 25 stores, respectively, from A&P, are hiring more associates than were employed at those locations.
"A&P substantially understaffed its stores," John Niccollai, president of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 464A, told the Post.
Some stores could still be sold, howeve, Bethpage, N.Y.-based Best Yet Market is interested in purchasing five Waldbaum's and Pathmark stores on New York's Long Island from the bankrupt company for $4.425 million, according to a court filing. This acquisition would be in addition to four other A&P supermarket locations that the currently 20-store chain earlier agreed to buy.