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North Hackensack Pathmark to close

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Montvale-based A&P announces more store closures

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Last updated: Tuesday February 15, 2011, 6:49 PM
The Record

The struggling A&P supermarket chain, which closed 32 stores and filed for bankruptcy court protection last fall, informed its unions Tuesday that it will close another 32 “under-performing” stores in six states over the next two months, eliminating thousands of jobs.

Included is the Pathmark store in north Hackensack. Most of the other stores are in South and Central Jersey or New York.

The parent, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc., announced later Tuesday afternoon that it had filed a motion seeking approval to close the stores “as the company continues to fully implement its comprehensive financial and operational restructuring.”

“While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, communities and employees, these actions are absolutely necessary as we work to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance,” said Sam Martin, chief executive officer, in a press release. “We will help our affected colleagues pursue other positions across the company should open positions be available.”

“I was very surprised, but not shocked,” said John Niccollai, president of Little Falls-based Local 464A of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union representing many of the workers affected.

The Montvale-based chain operates under the Pathmark, Food Emporium, Food Basics and Waldbaum’s banners as well as the flagship A&P.

The targeted stores, including 14 Pathmarks, “are among the worst performers,” he said.

“Still, I would have thought that the last go-round may have been sufficient,” Niccollai said. He estimated that several thousand employees would be affected.

Representatives from his union and Clifton-based Local 1262, which represents most of the Pathmark workers, visited the affected stores on Tuesday to give details to their members.

Included, in addition to the Hackensack store, are Pathmarks in Gillette, Hillsborough, Livingston, Middletown, South Plainfield and Whippany and A&Ps in Flanders, Barnegat and Manville.

“As in the past, members in affected stores will have ‘bumping’ rights, which are based on seniority,” Local 1262 President Harvey Whille told his members in a message posted on the union’s website. That means workers at stores being closed could move to stores that will remain open, replacing workers with less seniority.

A&P made no official announcement of the cuts, and did not respond to a request for more information.

It filed for Chapter 11 protection on Dec. 12, two months after reporting a loss of $154 million in its most recent quarter, its eighth consecutive losing period and almost twice its loss in the same period a year earlier.

The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., listed assets of $2.5 billion and debt of $3.2 billion – much of it from the $1.48 billion purchase of Pathmark in 2007.

“I feel so badly for these people,” Niccollai said by telephone. “It has nothing to do with their personal skills. This is a company that over the decades has been mismanaged. But it’s the workers who are going to suffer.”

A&P, once the nation’s biggest supermarket chain with 15,900 stores from coast to coast, will be down to about 340 between Connecticut and Washington, D.C., after the latest closings.

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Another icon of my youth disappears! I worked as a cashier at this store in the late 1950s when it was an A&P. I was there during the 100th anniversary of A&P. It was a great job, the people were great and the company allowed me to work weekends while going to college. The union was strong then and I continued to get yearly raises even working just on Saturdays.

you didnt work at this one.  it wasnt there in the 50's. The one that is closing is at 450 Hackensack Ave, commonly known as the North Hackensack location. it was built behind where Two Guys was, after Bradlees took over part of the building. 
the one on Rt. 17 is called the Hackensack store. that one isnt closing.

The store and its Bank of America branch will close on April 15 (or so the teller told me today).

I'm guessing the pharmacy must have already closed, because they started taking its sign down as I was leaving.

In 1963-64 I worked for NJ Bell and our line crew was wiring the original Two Guys as it was being built. The place impressed me in that it was so big I watched a carpenter hammering at one end while I was at the other and there was a delay before I heard the sound. A big space.


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