Company Snapshot: Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Inc.
2 Paragon Dr
Montvale, NJ 07645
Total Current Stores
$5.98 billion (e)
Greg Mays- Chairman
Paul Hertz- CEO, President
Ironically, the theme for this month’s Transformer piece was to choose a company that has withstood the test of time. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company would have been an obvious choice, having been founded in 1859, but unfortunately time seems to have finally taken its toll on the company and last month it filed for Chapter 11 (again). During its hay day the company boasted more than 4,000 stores and was a customer favorite, but now it has just 296 and announced that it will close 25 stores and likely sell many of the rest. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company had a net loss of $305 million last year and a loss of $68 million the previous year.
When looking back in the CSG database, the company’s decline seems to have started in 2002. This incidentally was the same year previous CEO Christian Haub sent out a letter to all staff explaining the company was going to suspend hiring and salary increases. The years that followed included continued net losses, store closings, firings, and a gradual decrease in customer appreciation.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the supermarket industry, for me, is watching the intense competitive market and the waves of trends that affect it. If one thing is certain, a supermarket company must be on top of those trends and be willing and ready to ride them in order to succeed.