Saturday, August 1, 2015

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67 comments:

  1. Of course none of the Acme/A&P store transitions aren't happening around me.

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  2. Are, or aren't (are not)? I'm confused, no offense.

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    1. The double negative is confusing. It should read either (1) none of the transitions are happening or (2) the transitions aren’t happening.

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  3. Do you think the A&P's that are closing will have a fixture sale afterwards, or would they just be shipped out to some warehouse somewhere?

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    1. I'd suspect they will try to sell that stuff off as well (especially in this case as they are closing/selling all the stores eventually, so it's not like they want it to move to another location).

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  4. Interesting article/fun-vote today on northjersey.com allowing readers to vote on which supermarket they want to replace the departing market... http://www.northjersey.com/news/vote-which-supermarket-are-you-hungry-for-to-replace-a-p-1.1384470

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    1. And most of the responders don't seem to realize that there is such a thing as saturation. Case in point, the ones who want a ShopRite at the Pathmark on Paulison Avenue in Clifton- notwithstanding that the Passaic Shoprite is literally two minutes away by car.

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  5. I found this interesting write-up that the author claims that the downfall of Pathmark is all the fault of A&P
    http://www.northjersey.com/towns/pathmark-s-downfall-began-with-a-p-1.1384001

    I don't necessarily agree with this, as Pathmark as a whole was already struggling before A&P, although A&P surely hastened the demise.

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    1. Hi Matt. It's hard to say who was struggling more by 2007 - but - It's my opinion that if the A&P and Parkmark merger had never happened, we wouldn't be where we are today. Even back then, I had a feeling the merger would kill both chains.

      As always, just my opinion.

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    2. I find both stores were doing about the same, with Pathmark doing okay and A&P doing better. The merger made no sense.

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    3. While the majority of us agreed that the merger was a horrible Idea that killed both chains I have to agree with the author.of the story Matt pointed to. Pathmark may have been surrounded by newer competitors and had been hindered by 15 years struggling with LBO debt & the failed merger w Ahold. that cost the company a lot of but it still had strengths that outweighed its weaknesses (strong high volume urban stores in markets where competitors historically did not go , rich history, billionaire majority owner, less debt after restructuring, promising new fresh formats) and Chris I have to disagree with you on the operations of A&P in truth was by the mid 2000s lipstick on a pig A&P was only doing better on paper as they had sold off their cash rich crown jewel assets like the Ontario division and 8 O'clock coffee and (by this time) peripheral markets in Detroit and New Orleans such divestitures were the only reason why they were able to put money towards the Fresh remodels and how A&P was gussied up to look as if it were turning around again as it did in the James Wood days. Christian Haub was NO James Wood. even then A&P was though newly cash rich it was declining. I Remember back ten years ago when I regularly shopped my A&P store to and from my job (worked in industry related business at the time) the store was never busy prices high aside of circular specials perishables mediocre, service so-so to poor. despite a few highly publcised fresh remodels, a lot of the money was going to the Haub family pockets while extant stores in core markets (NY NJ Philly) still were empty and neglected and the business overall still indebted. By contrast Pathmark while far from the glory days of Aidekman and Lieberman and even the turnaround days with Jim Donald, PM was still competitive especially in the most urban parts of New York and Philadelphia and as a company actually coming along still having tons of high volume stores and having at last restructured from that painful 1987 LBO while Burkle was genuinely commiting capital to the company. remodeling and planning new stores and attempting to improve competitiveness (Burkle even once tried to buy out the Saker ShopRite chain of stores to bolster Pathmark, true story) and had they kept doing what they were doing (remodels, possible replacements new stores etc) and having sharper edge on merchandising and returning to its roots they would have been more competitive against ShopRite and regained the competitive rivalry between the two. and with some tweaks could have strengthened itself as a strong focused distinguished competitor to be an attractive target to be acquired by someone like a Kroger,

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  6. Sounds kind of like the idea someone had years back to combine Zayre and Ames.

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  7. Material handling changes over the years due to forklift availablity:
    Originally unload the pallets on the trucks case by case down roller tracks and reassemble on instore carts
    Later: unload the pallets direct with forklifts and drive into the stores then maybe handle in the store with a manual pallet jack. This is why some of the stores had shipping docks put on after the fact when they were originally built for the single case roller track unloading. When electric forklifts became more available to the rank and file stores these became an attractive labor/time saving addition.
    The lack of shipping docks at some of the Acme stores plus the basement storage in some probably doomed them to be closed in this era of 53' trailer provisioning versus the old days of provisioning with 33' pup trailers or 40' long trailers.

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  8. I wonder if there would be any stores that could survive under the A&P name? After all, it's happened twice, the bankruptcy of AppleTree and selling off of nearly all of its stores allowed a new seller to continue the reduced chain (keeping the name for nearly 15 years!) and Grand Union was also kept for 12 years before vanishing. Of course, best case scenario is that if the stores remain A&P, it would be a shadow of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, but hasn't that been the case for years?

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    1. Pseudo3D, you make some excellent points.

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  9. Doylestown PA Acme is being remodeled! Some of the walls are being painted gray or cream colored.

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  10. More positive local press for Acme. http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/business/acme-targets-south-jersey-shore-towns-for-growth/article_44c3b26c-355d-11e5-956b-83610daff4bc.html

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  11. After years and years of delay, demolition has finally begun at Ocean County's undisputedly most fascinating abandoned strip mall. A former employee of the owners, the Johnson family, tells me that the supermarket in it started as an Acme. It was later definitely a Food Fair.
    http://www.app.com/story/news/local/ocean-county/2015/08/11/beachwood-shopping-center-demolition-begins/31455129/

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  12. Is A&P staying in business at all?

    The stores Acme is buying, do we know if A&P is having closing sales at them? And does Acme plan to give them major makeovers?

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    1. At this point, it looks like they will still have about half of their stores, though they are giving up a lot of crown jewels.

      And as it has been stated before here, Acme will probably just go in and change out signage, point of sale systems and make some minor changes to the stores they buy. There will probably be more intensive remodels to stores that need them at a later date. Acme seems to always do a pretty good job of keeping a store open and remodeling it at the same time.

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    2. A&P is donezo if they don't find buyers for the remainder of their stores.

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    3. A&P is going out of business completely; any stores not sold to other operators will simply close.

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  13. After Oct. 30, A&P will no longer be operating any of its supermarkets that have yet to be sold:

    http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/local/morris-county/2015/08/13/union-ap-run-stores-bankruptcy/31664771/

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    1. Surprising that they would throw in the towel so easily, but not really surprising. I wonder how long the process is going to take - whether A&P's last day of business for all stores is October 30, or if they will remain open past that point while A&P winds down. They obviously won't be through bankruptcy by the 30th.

      This decision will leave the city I live near with only a Sav-A-Lot as a supermarket option. You will have to travel some distance to get to either a Food Lion or an Acme. Though there is a BJ's Wholesale Club that does a lot of business.

      Doesn't look good at all for the unions. I can see them trying to go in and bump people from the purchased stores - something the article mentioned A&P would work to not allow.

      The rest of the store will probably sit empty or be bought peacemeal by smaller chains or single store owners looking to expand. I can see Foodtown and Sav-A-Lot making some moves.

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    2. Too bad. It would be nice if at least a few stores would remain open as an A&P, maybe there's hope.

      Of course, A&P was never able to recover their slump, and burned through any divisions they had for years or their acquisitions.

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    3. It's really sad to see A&P go. It was a staple of American culture for many years. I never saw a boring store of theirs. I hope these union bullies realize what they have done. They have prevented the store from making a full comeback to the previous bankruptcy, and now they are trying to rob the company of money it doesn't even have. It's like mugging a broke, dying man. I hope that someone who buys their stores will keep the name, just to keep it around. It's sad that we're losing a chain that was around when Lincoln was president.

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    4. You're pinning A&P's demise on the unions? Are you SERIOUS??? You really need to read up on A&P's management history of the past ten years, at the very least, before you come to the ridiculous conclusion.

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    5. I personally don't hate unions, but really I find the concept of supermarket unions to be silly. Union or not, supermarket employees really don't have a lot of opportunities for advancement or to take an active role in the decision-making process at their place of business.

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    6. Unions do help employees get somewhat of a living wage so they don't drain every government program out there like the employees of Walmart. I won't step foot in their stores yet my taxes go to feeding their underpaid workforce and covering their emergency room bills when they run a fever.

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    7. Blaming Unions is the 2010's blaming workers.

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  14. I agree, and I'm not pinning the demise solely on the unions, but I think they were the major external factor. Of course, it is nothing compared to their serious internal issues, but those were the company's fault. I feel the unions are asking too much from a broke company. Most of the recent news articles on A&P are dealing with the union's displeasure with the proposed employee benefit cuts. I think they should have lightened up a little bit, just to give the company a little more of a chance, so that with some luck they could still have their jobs in November.

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    1. A&P hasn't been paying their bills for months now. A couple of givebacks from the unions aren't going to buy the company one more day of business.

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    2. Part of the unions' issue with A&P is that they agreed to givebacks during the last bankruptcy with the understanding that A&P would use the savings to modernize their stores so that they would be more competitive. In return, A&P would respect their duly bargained for seniority rights in the future.

      A&P didn't hold up their end of the bargain by investing in their stores. Management ran the chain into the ground as investors like Burkle sucked all the working capital out of the company.

      A&P wants the givebacks on seniority and bumping rights so as not to hold up the sale of their stores. There's very little chance, regardless, of it remaining a going concern. The employes are going to be screwed out of their jobs no matter what so there best bet is to fight for what little leverage they have.

      Somehow Acme, ShopRite, Giant (MD), etc., do ok with a union workforce. This is primarily a management failure, not a greedy union issue.

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    3. I think Burkle has lost his magic touch. Gone are the days when he ran Dominick's and Fred Meyer successfully and sold them for a profit. His investment in Fresh & Easy is going south, too.

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  15. Did Acme remove the 10/$10 sections from all their stores? I have only been in the one closest to me lately, and now it is mostly seasonal food (ketchup, mustard, stuff like that).

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    1. I was wondering the same thing when I popped into Milltown last week to check on the progress there. The 10/$10 displays are gone from the front of the store.

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    2. If your looking for $1 stuff, Dollar Tree may be the best to go to get $1 stuff.

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    3. Still exists at some stores.

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  16. is there going to be a Acme store that will go in where the Food town use to be in Toms River, NJ

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    1. No. Although there actually used to be one in the same plaza from 1954 until about 1970, the Foodtown just closed. Only A&P, Pathmark, and Superfresh locations were bought out. I have not heard any rumors about what will move in there. The Foodtown in Pt Pleasant Bch became a Stop & Shop. The Foodtown in Whiting became a Sav-a-Lot. The Foodtown locations on Fischer Blvd and in Bayville are still vacant.

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  17. It isn't technically grocery, but it's food nonetheless- a Roy Rogers has opened in New Jersey for the first time in who know how long. It's in Franklin, up in Sussex County, in a former Arby's- it opened a month or two ago. The demand was so great, on opening day the lines were crazy. And it's as good as you remember- possibly better, considering they have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and Edy's Ice Cream. The franchisee is planning a location in Flemington next.

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  18. I saw in the Asbury Park Press that Albertsons is re-opening the closed Barnegat Genuardi's as an Acme. I know a few people on the blog had mentioned that this was a smart idea, with the lack of stores in the area. Are there any other closed Genuardi's which are still open and may reopen as Acme's as well?

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    1. Thanks for the news, Dave!!!

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    2. I think Lionville, Pa and Windsor, Nj

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    3. I think Windsor is a Whole Foods, no? And Egg Harbour has a new tenant...but how about Vorhees and Marlton?

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    4. Considering how long the store stayed closed with no new grocery tenant, how good are the chances of this location succeeding as an Acme?

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  19. As expected, A&P wants to sell ALL of its stores: http://www.progressivegrocer.com/industry-news-trends/regional-supermarket-chains/ap-wants-sell-all-stores?cc=10

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  20. If you would have told me 6 mo ago that Acme would have such a grand resurgence in market share and store count, I'd say you were crazy and definitely out of your mind.
    Now Acme is everywhere from CT south to the Del beaches, or will be so by years end. This has definitely been a crazy year so far. I call it the Acme Miracle.

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  21. Why no 10 for 10 sections, simple it costs more in labor to build and maintain then what they were earning on the product. So the company simply decided to not have them any more

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  22. We just got back from shopping at Safeway, formerly Albertsons, in Oak Harbor, WA. One of the most frustrating thing about the conversion of this store has been the dominance of Safeway brand products at the expense of local brands. For example, Darigold is a local dairy coop with excellent products. Safeway has minimal Darigold items compared with the variety that Albertsons stocked. The dairy clerk told us that Lucerne is going into the Northwest Albertsons stores.

    From what I've read over the years, the heavy push on Safeway brand hurt their acquisitions of Dominicks and Genuardi. I've seen in other posts on this board that Acme is now starting to carry Safeway brands. I wonder if Cerberus management has considered the fact that not all shoppers are wild about having Safeway brands dominate their store.

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    1. For the most part, Albertsons lost their original brands to SuperValu, which is one of the reasons they had to get brands back.

      Most modern, well-performing stores do promote their store brand, but Safeway's original botching was not at all respecting local brands or buying habits. Remember, all the buying was in California!

      I can't imagine that the original Safeway carried much, if any, Darigold, and I also think that the Oak Harbor store may have been a "test" store for the hybridization of Safeway and Albertsons.

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  23. What will happen to the Super Fresh in New Hope, PA? Do you think it will turn into an Acme or get shuttered? It's in a relatively busy area.

    It would be ironic if the New Hope Super Fresh becomes an Acme because that would mark the return of Acme to the New Hope/Lambertville area (the longtime Lambertville Acme, right across the river from New Hope, closed in 1999). Then again, it wouldn't be the first time that particular grocery store building would be bringing back a chain that had previously closed in the New Hope/Lambertville area. For example, there once was an A&P in Lambertville up until 1982 (started in a small corner store that is currently a pizza place, then moved to a bigger location that later became an IGA, then a Franklin Five & Ten, and now a CVS). Twenty-five years later, A&P returned to the New Hope/Lambertville area as a Super Fresh (same corporation as A&P) in a former Clemens building.

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    1. Acme hasn't placed a bid on the New Hope location. Another chain may try to acquire now that A&P has announced they want to sell all of their stores.

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    2. Actually it was 1997 when Acme closed in Lambertville. As for your question, all of us would love to see Acme enter New Hope, but I doubt they will because it's a very small town with Giant already in it.

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  24. The New Hope location needs a complete remodel. The dairy cases must be 50 years old! The meat cases have a quarter of the space filled with bottled water. It was a great store when it was Clemens, and before that the Del-Ray Thriftway. Now it is a ghost-town. Will Acme buy it? Tier II stores bids will be announced on Sept. 11th. We will find out then. I do believe that Acme will acquire another 36 stores, but they won't be paying much for them! Hopefully they will buy New Hope. Their closest stores in Doylestown and Newtown are 12 miles away.

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  25. One more thing that popped into mind with regards to Acme and buying stores:
    Assuming that all the listed transactions go through as listed and they acquire all the stores in NY State, would they try to add more stores to those areas?
    The thinking being that, assuming the merger of Ahold and Delhaize goes through, that same part of NY State is one of the few areas where Stop & Shop and Hannaford both operate stores and if they were required to sell off some stores to complete the merger (like Albertsons and Safeway were in the west), this suddenly adds a new buyer who might have interest in expanding their footprint in the area??

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    1. They might go for it, but who knows, they might give those stores to Shaw's. They're relatively closer to those stores.

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    2. Not really - the parts of NY where the two overlap are in Dutchess County and south towards NYC, which is the exact area that Acme is purchasing the A&P stores. North of that point there are only Hannaford stores in NY state.

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  26. First time poster, been following this blog for a while now. I'm working in a former Rite Aid being built out as a Dollar Tree on 2nd Street Pike in Southampton, PA. I've noticed the space next door has been subdivided and might be a former Genaurdi's or Giant, there's a newer Giant and gas station behind the shopping center.

    Across the street there's a Jo-Ann Fabrics in a pitched roof building part of a strip mall, any chance it's a former Acme? Here's Google's view of it: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1676478,-75.0451342,156m/data=!3m1!1e3 And location: 40.168003, -75.044839

    No beam or vent room sticking out of the back, and the Historic Aerials back to when it was built don't show one either.

    Here's the plaza I'm working in: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1672887,-75.0474155,311m/data=!3m1!1e3
    40.167762, -75.046477

    Anyone in the area know what was in this plaza and the history of the JoAnn's building.

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    1. It looks very Acme-ish from both Google Street view and the aerial view. The former Acme in Bricktown NJ, which is now vacant, used to be a Joann Fabrics for a while. It still had some Acme features left inside, although it was a 50's flat roof model, and not the 60's pitched roof. There might be some truth to it. Why don't you take some pictures of the back, and get some pics of the interior?

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    2. Looking at it on Google Earth, I went to a 1999 aerial, which is freakishly blurry (still clearer than the 1992 one, though), and I think I could make out the outline of one of those 70's SuperSaver facades. The current façade looks like an early 90's A&P, but it wasn't put on until the 2000's. The Giant was built in the mid 90's.

      Now my turn for a supermarket quest: The Clemens/Giant in North Coventry was built in 2003, and aerials show a smaller shopping center on the site before 2002. Anyone know what the anchor store there was? An older Clemens originally?

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    3. The shopping center you're in is Hampton Square; the subdivided building next door was an Acme from 1980 to 2000 (when the Warminster store opened). It later became a McCaffrey's and a Fresh Grocer. The Jo-Ann across the street was the first location of the Acme.

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  27. OOH! Update: It was an ACME:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/62355920@N00/2861368327/in/photolist-7VcRmd-5q6NoW-7P6iYz-5FpEHX-5FtXEA-5FtXGS-5FpEWi-5FtXML-5ADAjp-5mRg7F-9ihph9-aZ3DqD-9ih5tm-wejz4T-auJ8BK/

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  28. Thanks Doug, @ and Josh for the info! I was sent to work down on LBI this week (I might go tour the new store tomorrow) but next week I'll be back in Southampton. I'll take some pictures of the former store in Hampton Square and the pitched roof store across the street.

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  29. Some news:

    Heard that the Montclair and Saddle Brook A&Ps are both going to be shutting down in November. Since these are Acme purchases, I'm wondering for how long are they going to stay shut before they open back up. I figured Acme would just jump in and take over the stores as they were. I REALLY hope they leave the Saddle Brook bakery as it is.

    Clifton Pathmark closes this Friday, Botany Plaza Pathmark has just started their closing sale.

    Montclair Pathmark also due to shut in November, and Parsippany Pathmark employees got their layoff notices this week.

    Assuming that the rest of the stores A&P hasn't sold off will not make it. The Woodland Park store needs a buyer. There is no way that store can go dark...it's a first gen Fresh remodel, but Stop & Shop has a similar layout and design scheme in some stores. It would be perfect.

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