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A&P to Close All But One Food Basics Store in Detroit

DETROIT -- A little over a year since they opened, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has said it will close nine underperforming Food Basics grocery stores in metro Detroit, which would bring the banner's presence in that market down to a single unit.

A&P did not return calls yesterday seeking confirmation on the reported plan. In the Detroit News, however, chain spokesman Richard DeSanta was quoted saying the company was closing the stores, because they were underperforming. DeSanta reportedly declined to say how many employees would be laid off, or to specify which location would remain open. DeSanta said A&P would "elaborate on some of these decisions" on May 10.

Food Basics is A&P's discount format. The Detroit Food Basics units are Farmer Jack locations, converted only last year. Several press reports published in early April cited A&P store managers, who said they were told by management that a select number of stores in Michigan are going up for sale. Officials at that time, however, stressed that A&P would not completely pull out of the market.
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