Penn Traffic Gets Court Approval to Buy Two Peter's Supermarkets in Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Late last week Penn Traffic Co. received approval from the Southern District of New York in White Plains to buy two Peter's Groceries supermarkets here. Penn Traffic will convert the two stores to the P&C banner.

The Peter's stores -- a 43,844 square-foot location on 620 Nottingham Road, near Syracuse University and a 51,704 square-foot location at the Shop City Mall on Teall Ave., near Sunnycrest Park -- closed their doors at 7:00 p.m. last Friday for "reformatting" to the P&C model. They will reopen under their new banner on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 8:00 a.m.

"Buying the Peter's supermarkets at these excellent locations demonstrates both the underlying strength of our core operations as we emerge from reorganization, and our long-term commitment to be the supermarket of choice in Syracuse," said Penn Traffic Co. president and c.e.o. Bob Chapman in a statement. "This strategic acquisition clearly makes sense for P&C and Penn Traffic at this time.

"We intend to build on the loyal customer base in these stores by offering a broader selection of high-quality perishables and grocery products with attentive customer service at competitive prices," added Chapman.

Penn Traffic spokesman Joe Ramirez told Progressive Grocer that there "may be [additional] changes down the road to make [the former Peter's stores] more like other P&Cs," but declined to give specifics. He added that among Penn Traffic's long-term plans for the stores was to increase volume. According to Ramirez, there were "no plans at present" for Penn Traffic to purchase additional Peter's locations.

With the acquisition, Penn Traffic will operate 109 supermarkets, including 22 in the Syracuse area. The company has been operating under chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code since May 2003.

In addition to Peter's acquisition, Penn Traffic has remodeled nine stores over the past year, and five additional store remodels are in progress. Penn Traffic operates supermarkets in Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire under the BiLo, P&C, and Quality banners. The company also runs a wholesale food distribution business serving 80 licensed franchises and 39 independent operators.

-- Bridget Goldschmidt
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