A&P is physically kaput. All of the approximately 60 stores that were unsold during the auction process or were previously shuttered by A&P itself closed their doors permanently on November 25. However, while only about 20 percent of its store base survived until nearly Thanksgiving, about 100 stores overall still remain unspoken for. Those other unclaimed stores include 25 units closed by A&P in October and 54 stores that attracted limited or no interest during the auction process. Other stores without official buyers at this point include units that were never offered for auction (primarily due to lease issues), rejected leases and other A&P locations that have received qualifying bids, but have not yet been approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain. See updated store sales chart on pages 60-61.
In the past month, the U.S Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, NY approved A&P’s request for a two-month extension of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy status, a procedural move seen as giving the defunct retailer time to sell more stores and provide added capital for its creditors. A&P’s Chapter 11 status will now continue until March 16 (with the approval process set for May 16). It is ultimately expected to convert its bankruptcy to Chapter 7 liquidation.
In an attempt to accelerate the process for 54 units that were unsold at auction, A&P has engaged the services of A&G Realty Partners, a Melville, NY-based commercial real estate firm, to act as a third party sales agent. As a part of that proposed deal, A&P will receive an upfront fee, be relieved of rent payments and split the proceeds of any store sales with A&G (there are other closed A&P stores that are not part of the A&G deal). A&G describes itself as a firm that specializes in real estate dispositions, lease restructurings, facilitating growth opportunities, valuations and acquisitions, adding that its clients include some of the nation’s most recognizable retail brands in healthy and distressed situations.