Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

The former Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., better known as A&P, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Dec.

The decline for A&P, which operates grocery stores along the eastern seaboard including Pathmark, Super Fresh, Waldbaum's and Food Emporium, was expected by us here at Times Square Gossip. At it's peak in the 1930s, the chain operated nearly 16,000 stores. Today, it has just 395. Sales for it's most recent fiscal year ended February 27, 2010 were $8.8 billion, down from $9.5 billion in 2008. Management have indicated that losses could have doubled for the final quarter of the year so far.

Reasons Behind The Fall

Try shopping in a Food Emporium in New York City. Their stores are the biggest rip off ever and no one wants to shop there anymore. With Trader Joes opening up everywhere with fair prices, it is worth a cab fare to shop there than at any of the Food Emporiums in NYC.

Just a quick sample of their prices. Maxwell House Coffee is $6.29 a can. When I went there the other day with a friend who insisted on going there as most of the other stores were already closed, I noticed Maxwell House on the shelves at this price. Under it they had a sigh that said something like Hot Item. Hot Item? Maxwell House on sale at other stores is around $2.50 a can. If you want milk with your coffee, their brand Americas Choice is $4.29 a gallon. Sushi is another item we laugh at. The Sushi California Roll is $5.89 for a tiny portion. I can go to Trader Joes and get a huge platter for $5.99. What makes theirs better? Nothing. The portions are not even enough for one person, yet Trader Joes is enough for three people. Where would you shop? All their prices are like this. Even a sale is not really a sale when you can go somewhere else and get for half the price.

No Customer Service

Last year was my last stop at The Food Emporium. I vowed never to shop there again unless I was desperate for a item that I needed right away.

The story goes like this. I had my cart not even half filled, with two hundred bucks worth of food. I went to wait on the line which was all the way down the aisles. They had two cashiers on duty. You would think in a store that charges so much money for food that they would staff the store so at least the customers that were getting ripped off would get out real quick. But to add insult to injury, they could care less. Their motto should be, we charge you more and we make you wait to pay more for it. So I am on this line, waiting and waiting and it is not going anywhere. I finally roll my cart down the aisle and go looking for the manager. I find him and tell him that I have two hundred bucks of food here and it is not right for anyone to wait on line for 45 minutes to pay for their overpriced items. He looks at me and says, " I doubt you have been waiting this long." I start yelling at this guy that it is a disgrace to charge so much for things you can get for half the price at other stores. People on the lines start cheering me. I tell the guy to open more cashiers so people can get out of the store. He tells me things are running fine and said they do not need customers like me. I am fuming. Any normal store manager would run to another cashier stand and open up to get the people out quicker. Instead, he just went into the back room in the front of the store. He could give a S**t.

We Contact The A&P Companies Main Office

They call me up a week or so later. They say they have been having problems with this store and they are going to make some changes. I go on and on about the service and the prices. The guy agrees with me on everything. He yeses me to death. He tells me how they love their customers and how they will correct everything and how important their NYC customers are to them. Lies lies lies!

I go back several times in the next few weeks, not to shop, but to see if there are changes. I do not see this manager anymore, so I think they fired him or demoted him or something. Prices are still sky high. Cashiers are still understaffed. Finally my friend dragged me in there the other night at 11pm, when the other stores were closed. I was in shock. The nasty manager was on duty once again. Two cashiers on duty and lines everywhere. And it's not that there were so many people shopping, the store was quite empty. It's just that the little customers that still go there, have to wait on lines because the A&P food company is too cheap to hire help.

Boycott Anything Owned By The A&P Pacific Company

This company does not care about their customers. They will cry about the high rents in New York City for their high prices, but this is just not true. They have more customers living in New York City than anywhere else. In fact, their store on 43rd and 10th has hundreds of thousands of customers living in the neighborhood. They have a built in clientele. But now when I talk to friends that live in The Big Apple, they all tell me they shop anywhere else, even know it may mean a drive or a cab fare. My Hampton's friends shop on the way back to the city in Long Island. My other friends will take a cab to Trader Joes on 14th street or 72nd street where the quality and prices are the best. The reason that the once great A&P Food Company is in bankruptcy, is they could care less about the customer. They cheat the people with their high prices and no customer service. It took a while, but New Yorkers have gotten smart and are now going elsewhere. This is why they went from 16 thousand stores to 395. They got what they deserve. Maybe they should go back to just selling tea!


Anonymous said…
They not only don't care about thier customers they don't care about thier employees either.
James Edstrom said…
That seems to be the way of most companies anyway..

James Edstrom