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A&P May Sell Some Farmer Jack Stores: Reports

DETROIT, Mich. – The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. is considering the sale of some of its Farmer Jack stores here, according to a number of press reports.

Company officials recently told a meeting of store managers that a select number of stores in Michigan are going up for sale, but stressed that A&P does not intend to completely pull out of the market, sources told The Detroit News.

A&P officials would not comment on the speculation.

Farmer Jack is southeast Michigan's market leader with 88 locations. A&P also operates 10 Food Basics stores around Metro Detroit, some of which formerly operated under the Farmer Jack banner.

A&P consolidated, closed, or transformed 13 Farmer Jack stores just over a year ago to trim costs.

Lehman Brothers analyst Meredith Adler recently noted in a report that the performance at both the Farmer Jack and Food Basics formats has been poor, costing A&P a combined annual loss of $30 million. She wrote that selling or closing these stores would improve the retailer's overall finances.

A&P lost $75.2 million in the third quarter, which was partially due to reorganization charges. Same-store sales were down 1 percent.
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