MONTVALE, N.J. A&P, which operates 429 stores and roughly 250 retail pharmacies, is shuttering 25 stores in five states as part of its turnaround strategy, the company announced on Friday.
The impacted stores include locations in close proximity to other company stores, those facing real estate and cost issues, and underperforming noncore stores. The store closures are expected to be completed in the company's fiscal third quarter.
"As part of our turnaround, we have initiated a detailed review of our store footprint and have decided to close these 25 locations. While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, communities and employees, these actions are absolutely necessary to strengthen A&P's operating foundation and improve our performance going forward. We will help our affected colleagues pursue other positions across the Company should open positions be available," stated A&P president and CEO Sam Martin.
In late July, the company announced the appointment of Martin as its new CEO. He succeeded Ron Marshall, who left the company after serving less than six months at the helm. The news came as the grocer reported a first quarter net loss of $122 million and a 7.2% drop in same-store sales.
Martin, who has more than three decades of management experience in the food retail industry, joined A&P from OfficeMax, where he served as COO since 2007. Prior to OfficeMax, Martin was COO for Wild Oats Markets through the company?s acquisition by Whole Foods. His experience also includes senior management roles at ShopKo Stores and Fred Meyer. With new leadership in place, the company indicated that it would be gearing up for a turnaround through a new operational and revenue-driven initiative.
The four key elements of the turnaround plan:
- Improve the company's customer value proposition through merchandising
- Enhance the customer experience and drive clear brand identity
- Lower structural and operating costs
- Implement new financing initiatives to augment first quarter liquidity of $253 million.