New Jersey-based Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday as a result of both the economic downturn and competition.
NJ.com reports that the company says its stores will remain stocked and open.
According to Sam Martin, the company’s chief executive officer:
The filing was “difficult but necessary.”
“(We) concluded that we could not complete our turnaround without availing ourselves of Chapter 11,” Martin said in a statement. “It will allow us to restructure our debt, reduce our structural costs and address our legacy issues.”
The company operates nearly 400 stores around the nation. It had previously struggled because of large discount retailers, some of which are now offering fresh food.
The website reports:
Founded in 1859, the company began as a mail-order business that opened one store in lower Manhattan, then expanded into New England, the South and the Midwest by using traveling salesmen on horsedrawn carriages. By the 1930s, it was operating 16,000 stores.
In October, the chain closed Pathmark stores in South Plainfield, North Brunswick, West Paterson, Fort Lee, Belleville, Union, North Bergen and Marlboro, affecting 2,000 jobs.