retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Crain’s New York Business writes this week that “an implosion of 151-year-old A&P could be a windfall for its competitors. Buildings large enough to accommodate supermarkets are scarce and highly sought-after in the city. A&P's five-borough portfolio of 48 such properties under the Waldbaum's, Food Emporium, Pathmark and A&P banners is one of the largest in the city. The Montvale, N.J.-based grocer has a total of 429 stores across eight states in the Northeast.

“While some rivals are biding their time hoping to snap up individual locations—or even entire chains, should they hit the market—many others are not waiting. They are circling the foundering giant, chipping away at its market share.”

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. hardly is in any position to fight back. It has had seven straight quarters of losses, a CCC credit rating because it has so little cash, and is on its third CEO in 12 months, and offers more talk about strategy and tactics than actual execution.

Some companies, like Gristedes and Fairway, tell Crain’s that they are waiting for an acquisition opportunity to open up - like a decision by A&P to sell its Food Emporium chain. Target is being even more aggressive, opening a Manhattan store with a fresh foods offering ands spending a lot of money to publicize it. And some wonder what Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., A&P’s third biggest shareholder, might be planning as a game-changer.
KC's View:
Said it before, and I’ll say it again.

Dead company walking.