Q4 proves to be a challenge for A&P

MONTVALE, N.J. Grocer A&P, which operates 429 stores, posted a dip in fourth-quarter sales and a wider net loss; however, executives are optimistic as they take steps to revive the business.

Sales for the 12-week quarter ended Feb. 27 were $2 billion, compared with $2.3 billion in last year's 13-week fourth quarter. Same-store sales decreased 4.8%.

Net loss for the quarter was $171.4 million, or a drop of $5.07 per diluted share, compared with a decrease in the year-ago period of $112.1 million, or down $4.83 per diluted share.

"The past year was certainly a challenge, as the economy continued its sluggish pace. The good news is that we have identified several critical issues within our organization that will lead us back to market prominence. We are committing our undivided attention to clarifying our brand identify in our principal banners, completing the integration of the Pathmark acquisition and maximizing supply chain cost improvement opportunities," stated Ron Marshall, president and CEO of A&P.

He added that, "The fixes in our company are attainable and the initiatives are in place today to provide us the path forward. Concurrent to transforming the culture of our company, we are gaining ground in better understand our customers, developing the skills critical for our success, making prudent reinvestments in our business and reducing costs through a process of continuous improvement. Our sole mission is to make The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. great again."

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