FOOD TRADE NEWS
are few remaining office associates (all on retention bonuses until they
will be let go next month) that they can direct – virtually everything is
run by the bankruptcy court and, as such, Judge Robert Drain should
summarily fire all senior management and appoint a trustee to provide
oversight at the company which will likely file Chapter 7 liquidation by
the end of the year.
Oh, it’s not just Greg “Don’t Call Me Willie” Mays, Paul “Pay Me ‘Til It”
Hertz and Chris “Be Wary” McGarry that need to go, other senior exec-
utives such as CFO Tim Carnahan, CMO Eric Kanterman and CIO Nirup
Krishnamurthy should be ousted as well.
Is it a coincidence that those men were the ones who directly received
$12.6 million worth of “trust fund” payments made a few months prior
to A&P’s Chapter 11 filing in July? Take a guess.
On the playing field, things aren’t going too well for what remains of
the company, either. The first two rounds of store auctions netted signifi-
cantly less cash than the creditors were hoping for.
At presstime on October 16, more than 115 units remain unsold.
While I expect more action in the near future (A&P plans to close all
stores by Thanksgiving), the results so far have been disappointing.
“If A&P and the court want to sell more stores they need to reduce
the minimum dollar thresholds they have placed on these supermar-
kets,” said a retail executive whose company has successfully bid on
several A&P units. “Some of these minimums were ridiculous, especially
for stores whose sales have been trending down for years and are in
poor physical shape.”
Since there was relatively little action at the two auctions – held on
October 1-2 and 7-8 - beyond the “stalking horse” bidders (Acme, Stop
& Shop, Key Food and Wakefern), an additional “clean up” auction could
be held at which lower qualifying bids will probably be allowed.
And you can expect even further action once the supermarkets remain
closed for 30 days. That will allow non-union bidders a free and clear
entry to stores (although at presstime, several UFCW Locals said they
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