A&P announces store closings, layoffs

August 18, 2010 9:21:12 AM PDT
Hundreds of supermarket employees will soon be out of a job. The company that owns A&P and Pathmark supermarkets announced the closing of 25 locations due to the dreary economy.

In Yorktown Heights, you'll find plenty of parking the local A&P and even though few registers are open, there are not long lines. That may be great if you're in a rush, but it's a clear sign that business is bad. In fact, it's so slow that the supermarket is shutting down next month.

Shopper Lenny Duda saw it coming.

"I'm surprised it's still open," said Duda.

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea company, also known as A&P, announced it's closing 25 supermarkets in five states. The company has not disclosed any specific details, but unions representing over 2,000 employees say the decision affects five A&Ps and nine Pathmark supermarkets in New York and New Jersey.

Michael Calcutti is one of those slated to lose his job.

"They told us they were having a hard time. They're closing 20-something stores and they're closing the ones that aren't making any money," said Calcutti.

Moody's recently downgraded A&P stock after it lost $122 million in the first quarter. That's on top of an $878 million loss last year. Experts agree that something had to be done.

"There's a lot of competition out there and there's a very a small amount of consumer dollars," Caryn McBride of the Westchester County Business Journal said.

Besides underperforming locations, the company is closing those located near another company supermarket. In Yorktown, there are two store located less than a half-mile apart.

Still, some say it will be missed.

"It's so convenient. So, I'll be sad to see it go," said Diane Darby.

As for employees, some will transfer to other stores. The rest will continue to be paid for 30 days after the last sale on October 13th.