A&P names new CEO, posts Q1 results

MONTVALE, N.J. Supermarket chain A&P has appointed former OfficeMax executive Sam Martin as its new CEO, succeeding Ron Marshall, who has left the company after serving less than six months at the helm. The news came as the grocer reported a first-quarter net loss of $122 million and a 7.2% drop in same-store sales.

Martin, who has more than three decades of management experience in the food retail industry, joins A&P from OfficeMax, where he served as COO since 2007. Prior to OfficeMax, Martin was COO for Wild Oats Markets through the company's acquisition by Whole Foods. His experience also includes senior management roles at ShopKo Stores and Fred Meyer.

With new leadership in place, the company is gearing up for a turnaround through a new operational and revenue-driven initiative. The four key elements of the turnaround plan are:

  • Improve the company's customer value proposition through merchandising
  • Enhance the customer experience and drive clear brand identify
  • Lower structural and operating costs
  • Implement new financing initiatives to augment first quarter liquidity of $253 million

"I firmly believe that this turnaround will strengthen A&P's operating foundation and improve our performance. I have faced similar situations in my career and have successfully navigated through them. We will move quickly to implement this turnaround for the benefit of all our stakeholders," stated Martin.

The company, which currently operates 429 stores and roughly 250 retail pharmacies, also is looking into capital raising opportunities, including incremental financing through its current bank facility, as well as pursuing sale-leaseback transactions and the sale of certain noncore assets.

For the first-quarter sales were $2.6 billion versus $2.8 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales dropped 7.2%. Net loss for the quarter totaled $122 million, or a loss of $4.83 per share, compared with a loss of $65 million, or $3.64 a share, in the year-ago period.