Additionally, the smallest banner in the A&P fleet could attract interest from private equity organizations. Analysts believe the company will use the proceeds of the Food Emporium brand to invest in A&P’s other banners.
A&P originally acquired Food Emporium in 1986 from the Shopwell Group and speculation about selling the banner existed even before A&P filed for bankruptcy protection.
Venture capitalist Ron Burkle, chairman of The Yucaipa Cos., is chairman of A&P and Sam Martin is currently serving as chief executive.
Since it exited Chapter 11 in March, the Tea Company has made few moves to upgrade its store base or its merchandising programs.
Because it is now privately held, very little information has been released about the company, but several key vendors report that their sales at A&P have declined slightly since Burkle took the once-mighty retailer private.