The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and company officials are considering liquidating some of its stores.
This is the second Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the A&P supermarket chain within the last five years. Representatives said following the company’s first Chapter 11 filing, the company made mistakes by keeping 60 underperforming stores open to help save jobs and failed to successfully lower its pensions obligations and other costs.
The grocery chain is mulling tentative deals with three grocery chains – ACME Markets, Stop & Shop Supermarket and Key Food Stores – with the intent of acquiring 120 A&P locations and 12,500 employees to the tune of $600 million. If the company opts to not sell its locations, officials are looking at liquidating A&P supermarket locations. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company has approximately 300 supermarkets and other stores under a handful of brands including A&P, Waldbaum’s, SuperFresh, Pathmark and Food Basics.
A&P takes credit for introducing the first US supermarket in 1936 in Braddock, Pennsylvania. By the 1940s, the company had roughly 16,000 stores. In 1979, the company was acquired by Tengelmann Group, and shortly thereafter, the company saw a series of strategic mistakes, changes throughout the grocery industry and financial obstacles, according to media reports.