A&P Issues Layoff Notices To All Store Employees, Still Plans To Sell Stores

Image courtesy of Many remaining A&P stores are NYC-area Pathmark stores. (Morton Fox)

Many remaining A&P stores are NYC-area Pathmark stores. (Morton Fox)

Many remaining A&P stores are NYC-area Pathmark stores. (Morton Fox)

When layoffs are coming within 60 days, federal law requires employers to notify employees and their state labor department. An industry publication reports that yesterday, the venerable and bankrupt grocery chain A&P issued these layoff notifications, called Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices, to employees at all of their stores. However, most of the stores remain on the market, and A&P hopes to sell them to competitors soon.

There are 297 stores in the chain. The judge in their bankruptcy case has approved the closing of 25 stores, and they at least hope to find buyers for the rest. Acme Markets, Stop & Shop, and Key Food have all expressed interest in buying a total of 118 of the stores, and other interested buyers may come forward as the bankruptcy proceeds. Even the union representing A&P employees assured workers that the WARN notice is just procedural, and the majority of stores will probably still be sold.

The judge also told the bankruptcy court this week that he has seen competitors colluding to keep their bids low in similar grocery chain bankruptcy cases, and will require bidders to declare in writing that they haven’t discussed their bids with their competitors/fellow bidders when bidding in this auction.

A&P is the oldest grocery chain still in business in this country: it’s been in operation since 1859, but has also filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years.

A&P to issue layoff notices at all stores [Supermarket News]
A&P bankruptcy: Judge issues collusion warning [Journal News]

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