Hillsborough Pathmark to Close in April

The grocery store is one of 32 that parent company A&P is seeking to shut down.

The Hillsborough Pathmark is one of 32 A&P-owned grocery stores slated for closure by the end of April, according to court documents filed yesterday.

 A&P, known formally as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc., filed chapter 11 documents Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Southern District of New York. The company is seeking permission to close the 32 stores, spread out over six states, as part of its restructuring. A&P first filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 on Dec. 12, 2010.

"As part of our turnaround and our ongoing review of our store footprint, we have decided to close these 32 locations,” A&P President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Martin said in a press release. “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. We will help our affected colleagues pursue other positions across the company should open positions be available."

Other nearby stores scheduled for closure include Pathmarks in Bethlehem, Pa. and Super Fresh stores in East Windsor, Hamilton and Yardley, Pa.

The 32 stores were picked because an analysis by A&P deemed them “underperforming,” the court papers said. Under the plan, they would close by April 15 and the premises would be surrendered to landlords by April 30. A&P also said in the filings that it hopes to sell or reject unexpired leases on the physical locations of the stores it plans to close.

The Unified Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union represents a number of the workers affected. 

 The UFCW Local 464A represents 15 A&P stores, including the Hillsborough Pathmark. In a statements posted on the chapter website, the union said A&P executives had deemed the locations now set to be closed “under-performing.”

 “Although we are deeply disappointed, we cannot permit this setback to result in despair. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. operates hundreds of valuable locations, with many demonstrating sound performance. A strong Turnaround Plan could well allow the Company to become profitable. Even if the Company is unsuccessful, these locations are too valuable not to be acquired by another Union Employer,” Local 464A President John Niccollai said in the statement.

 He went on to estimate that about 360 workers would be laid off in the 15 stores that chapter represents. Those who lose their jobs, he said in the statement, “must not view this situation as a personal failure. The simple truth is that this Company, with its long history of incompetence and mismanagement, has made us victims. Unfortunately, not even the most competent employee or astute Union can prevail when a Company is poorly managed.”

 Employees will be reallocated among stores based on seniority, the release said.

Linda Scarantino February 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Bring in a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes....that will give Shop Rite a run for it's money!
BPD February 17, 2011 at 02:02 AM
jerseyjoed February 17, 2011 at 02:06 AM
For over thirty years, every A&P I've seen has been a dump. Does anyone remember the one in Hillsborough? It took about 4 days for Shoprite to put them under when it opened . How A&P managed to acquire Pathmark in 2007 is a puzzle. And, apparently, it took A&P only 3 years to bankrupt it. I think the A&P executives mentioned in the article are putting the wrong people out of work. They should look to themselves. The current facility has everything going for it. If A&P corporate can't make THAT one work, they should give up.
WD40 February 17, 2011 at 04:55 AM
As a former long time employee of Pathmark, it kills me to see what A&P has done to it. Pathmark was in no great shape when A&P bought it, however, A&P was worse off. I know for a fact that once A&P took over, prices in that store went up and customers went out the door. The two companies really operated differently. Pathmark was always a company that generated sales while A&P was too concerned with the cost of the sales. I always thought it to be better to sell something rather than nothing, as long as there was a profit. Needless to say, when they first merged, there was a lot of head butting going on at the top level. They told us the two banners would operate as they have in the past, but naturally, that was not so. All the Pathmarks turned into A&P's , without changing the signs. I think that A&P is just reducing the amount of stores so they can sell. Between all the banners under A&P, they had over 420 stores. Not very attractive to any buyer. I don't see this company turning around, not when they have been incompetent this long. Whole Foods would be great there....I agree
livelaughloveliquor.com February 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM
This is no surprise. The "bag your own" lanes were s-l-o-w as molasses and a stupid idea anyway. Plus, the management there was horrible. There were 3 things I liked about it though : 1. It was conviently located next to my favorite store, Home Goods. 2. It has "mother with children" parking 3. It has those cute, kid friendly carts. I hope Trader Joe's takes notice and moves in.
Sue M February 17, 2011 at 01:16 PM
You may not like it, but bag your own isn't a stupid idea - I use them all the time. The kids like to help me with them. It keeps them busy rather than asking for candy! I also don't like the way most cashiers bag groceries, so I like being able to bag my own. Just wish I didn' t have to get an override every time I used coupons (They have a "you saved too much money in coupons" alarm!) I like Pathmark because they had good sales and wasn't crowded. I agree Trader Joe's would be a fun addition to the mix. Whole Foods, from what I understand, is more expensive. I'm also not a foodie though, so I don't really need "fancy" supermarkets. I need the basics done well!
Rick February 17, 2011 at 02:56 PM
How can we get a campaign going for Trader Joes or Whole Foods (I'd prefer TD's, but either would be great)? I've read that both are very selective in choosing sites. Is this something that the township can lobby for through the group that has been working so hard to help the local businesses? Does it have to be a grass-roots campaign? How about a Whole Foods there and a Trader Joes in the old Cost Cutters? Just a dream, right?
Sue M February 17, 2011 at 03:19 PM
The Manville A&P is going too... http://www.facebook.com/APFresh#!/notes/support-pathmark-employees/supermarket-news-reports-the-full-list-of-32-ap-store-closures/192623034089440
Jonathan February 17, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods do extensive socio-economic profiling before opening a store. I hate to say it, but Hillsborough might not make the cut. I hope someone moves in to the old Pathmark location or the store gets a stay of execution, otherwise ShopRite will be even more of a zoo than it already is. Is there anyone left in the grocery business besides Shop-Rite and Wegmans? Oops, forgot Hillsborough has a Stop and Shop hidden behind Shop-Rite, and I'm amazed that it's still open since whenever I go in there's at least a 1-1 employee to customer ratio. We're losing stuff left and right. Cost Cutters, Famous Dave's, Charlie Brown's (ok not much of a loss there) and now Pathmark. Hopefully the business climate picks up and we get some new things in town.
Mary L Cottingham February 18, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Here's the link from Trader Joe's website to "request locations". http://www.traderjoes.com/about/location-requests-form.asp
Rick February 19, 2011 at 01:36 AM
All good info. On @Jonathan's comment, I would hope that the medium income range and buying habits of the area between Princeton (north/west) and Basking Ridge could support both stores. I'll certainly hit @Mary's link. Thanks!
Andrea Bierwirth February 22, 2011 at 08:23 PM
The Township of Hillsborough needs to pony-up and offer incentives for retailers to want to come into our community. There are so many vacant storefronts now it is becoming an embarrassment. Yes, it has been a difficult, turbulent time for everyone economically, but, Hillsborough, let's get CREATIVE and offer some incentives to retailers such as Trader Joe's to bring them here! I am tired of driving up to Rt. 202 to Wegman's and going to Trader Joe's in Princeton on weekends. We need and deserve a retailer such as Trader Joe's in our community. Instead, we see in-fighting amongst council members who want status-quo. Forget status-quo and move forward. Bring your constituents retailers we want to visit and support. Look into some of the more exciting and innovative approaches to economic development rather than waiting for the next pizza joint to move into vacant storefronts. The larger vacancies such as Cost Cutters and now Pathmark will sit vacant for years if our council does not entice these retailers.
Moose February 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Trader Joes is nice, but would take up less than half the space left behind by Pathmark. It would fit better in the vacant "Cost Cutters" store. I would love to see a Wegman's move into Pathmark's spot. I'm not so much of a price monger as I am interested at paying fair prices for higher quality food that tastes better. Whole Foods is for hippies and vegans... When is Five Guys going to open!!!
Damiano February 25, 2011 at 05:02 PM
I have lived in Hillsborough for 26 years and have been asking for a Kings. I agree with all of your comments why can't we have a better food stores in our community? I often travel to Wegmans to buy food since I am not happy with the food stores in our town. Trader Joes would be perfect where the Cost Cutters was or a Whole Foods. We live in a nice town give us nice food stores to shop instead of going outside our town.
Damiano March 01, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Melissa, I am on board. How do I send my vote!!!!!!!!!
Eileen Oldfield March 01, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Melissa: I'd love to do a story on this at some point--can you email me with some of the details and to see if we can set something up with some of the other people who want the store in town? I can be reached at Eileen.Oldfield@patch.com. Thanks! Eileen
Jonathan March 02, 2011 at 05:02 AM
I agree that a Trader Joe's would fit in better at the vacant Cost Cutters site. I also think it would be better to go after another occupant since Trader Joe's strikes me as a company that expands slowly and deliberately (unlike 5 Guys, the Krispy Kreme of mid-tier fast food burgers) so it would be a few years before they're in. I've also heard from inside sources that they've become the Wal-Mart of the organic food business and that their supplier relationships are strained at best. Despite all that I'd welcome a Trader Joe's. I submitted a location request on their site, complete with a link to the Levin group's listing for the vacant Cost Cutters site. Are there other ideas on what type of business should come to town? I'd take just about anyone besides a check cashing store or payday loan place!
Damiano March 07, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Whole Foods or a bowling alley for kids.
Andrea Mazzarese March 07, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I would love for Hillsborough to have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Supermarket. We are in desperate need for some change AND...with the closing of Pathmark...Shoprite is going to be more of a zoo than it already is. There are more than enough people in this town to accomodate multiple food markets.
Joseph Sheridan January 09, 2013 at 09:04 PM
To HELL with Pathmark


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