LIC Pathmark Shutters; 130 Jobs Affected
With Pathmark in Long Island City due to close on Saturday, August 25, parent company Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) has offered coupons to shoppers in an effort to induce them to try another A&P store. A&P has sent coupons valued at $5 off on a $50 or more purchase and several single-item coupons in appreciation of, and as a reward for, the business and loyalty of Long Island City Pathmark’s core consumers. “Since 1859, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company’s family of supermarkets has stood as a trusted source of fresh, affordable, high-quality food and food products for you and your family. Like you, we have to adapt to the changing economies and business environments of the day,” one letter to Long Island City Pathmark patrons read.
Full disclosure: this reporter received two letters that included three coupons for three weeks each, a total of six weeks’ savings worth $30 for July and August. The coupons were usable at any of the 320 remaining Pathmark, SuperFresh or Waldbaum’s locations—but not at the closing Pathmark store at 42-02 Northern Blvd, Long Island City.
The demise of the Long Island City Pathmark leaves 61,500-square-feet of empty space and displaces 130 workers. Reporting the closing in a June 7 report, Crain’s New York Business said the Bogopa Food Bazaar chain is interested in the space, although Crain’s could not confirm the new tenant through leasing agent Prudential Douglas Elliman. The Pathmark lease expires in December.
Workers have been given a choice of employment at other A&P stores, although some full-time employees might have been demoted to part-time status while others could have declined reassignment, according to a representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1500, also quoted in the Crain’s New York Business report.
In March, A&P emerged from a Chaper 11 bankruptcy filed last year, when four A&P supermarkets, including one Pathmark in Brooklyn, were shuttered. In its June filing with the New York State Department of Labor, A&P stated the reason for closing the Long Island City Pathmark, as well as a Waldbaum’s in Bayside, was economic, according to Crain’s.
In a CNBC report that aired August 15, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial Consulting (MFC), a full-service financial and operational advisory consulting firm with offices in the city, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles, noted that rising food prices remained stable through June and July, but the severe drought in the Midwest this summer is predicted to drive food prices up again in the coming months. “It’s coming and it’s going to be in dairy products, eggs [and] meat” Swonk said.