The Waldbaum's in Huntington Station will close soon, one of six Long Island stores described by its parent company as underperforming.
The store anchors a shopping center at East Jericho Turnpike and Longfellow Drive. A store employee said the store had been in Huntington Station for 40 years and was expected to close within 60 days.
Rumors about the store's closing have flown for years as residents were told by workers that its closing appeared imminent several times.
The announcement follows close on the heels of the shutdown or planned closing of three other Huntington Station stores, Barnes & Noble, a Blockbuster, and the Toys R Us, expected within two weeks.
Waldbaum's parent company, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. said had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, "asking approval to close 14 stores in four states as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11. The store closures are expected to be completed in the Company's fiscal first quarter, subject to court approval."
The other Long Island stores are in Commack, Rockville Centre, East Islip, West Babylon and Lake Ronkonkoma.
A&P President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Martin said, "We are continuing to take the steps necessary to position A&P to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strong future and ensure that we remain focused on our top priority -- providing great value and service to our customers every day. As part of our preparations to emerge from Chapter 11, we have decided to close these 14 underperforming locations. While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, associates and the surrounding communities, these actions are absolutely necessary as we continue to strengthen A&P's operating foundation and improve our performance."
A&P said it will work with union representatives to try to place workers in other stores, based on associates' collective bargaining agreements. The company said it "will also encourage loyal customers to shop at its other neighborhood stores in close proximity to the closing store locations." That includes a Pathmark several blocks east of the Waldbaum's on Jericho Turnpike.
Founded in 1859, A&P is one of the nation's first supermarket chains. The company operates 336 stores in six states under the following trade names: A&P, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Superfresh and Food Basics.