08.17.2015 LIBN | A&P to sell most of its stores
By David Winzelberg

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. is now seeking to sell 271 of its 296 stores, according to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing.

A&P said it will close its other 25 stores not offered for sale.

The Montvale, N.J. company had previously sought to sell some, but not all of its stores, and had already received bids for 118 of them from three other chains, including Stop & Shop, Acme Markets and Key Food.

The major supermarket brands under the A&P umbrella include A&P, Waldbaums, Pathmark, and The Food Emporium.

Among the 25 stores being closed are Waldbaums stores in Carle Place, Oceanside and Riverhead, and Pathmark stores in Baldwin and Centereach.

Local commercial real estate brokers have seen a feeding frenzy of grocery chains vying for many of the stores A&P is looking to shed. Broker Jayson Siano, a principal at Sabre Real Estate Group in Garden City said good available grocery locations are few and far between here.

“Regional and local grocery store operators are getting into the mix, primarily for the higher profile locations,” Siano said. “National chains, like Aldi, The Fresh Market and Trader Joe’s are all actively analyzing the better locations, though Stop & Shop has already secured a lot of those.”

Last month, the Stop & Shop chain agreed to pay $146 million to acquire 25 of the stores. The Long Island stores included in that bid are Waldbaums in East Hampton, Southampton, Baldwin, Massapequa, Long Beach, and Huntington. Long Island Pathmark stores in the deal include stores in Seaford and Franklin Square.

Acme Markets agreed to purchase 76 stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, but none on Long Island.

Auctions for the stores to be sold are scheduled for September 24 and 25.