MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here said last week it has completed the purchase of six units of Schwegmann Giant Super Markets in New Orleans for its Sav-A-Center division there -- a deal that originated last March.
Observers said A&P plans to convert a handful of its Food Basics stores in Canada to The Barn banner while converting some existing Barn units to Food Basics.
With the purchase in New Orleans, A&P said the six stores will remain closed during renovation and will reopen in the fall, although the pharmacies, banks and notary public services at those stores will remain open during the renovation process.
A&P picked up another Schwegmann unit in July.
The chain initially signed a definitive agreement with Schwegmann in March to acquire six of its 24 stores.
However, an objection from one of Schwegmann's leaseholders caused the sale to be postponed -- a move Schwegmann said forced it three weeks later to file a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 relief.
That put the deal on hold, leaving it up to a bankruptcy judge to assign leases to prospective buyers over any third-party objections.
In July A&P confirmed it had received court approval to acquire one Schwegmann unit but declined comment on the status of the six stores it had originally sought to buy.
In disclosing that A&P had finally been allowed to buy the six stores, Don Dobson, Sav-A-Center president, said, "By expanding into these locations, we are underscoring our commitment to New Orleans while furthering our corporate-wide objective of being the No. 1 or No. 2 operator in every market we serve."
Sav-A-Center operates nine stores in New Orleans (including the one acquired in July) and six in Mississippi.