The company said Thursday it had entered into an agreement with Village Super Market to sell up to five New York City stores and the company’s distribution center for about $70 million. The deal was characterized as a “stalking horse” agreement, which means other businesses could also put in bids on the properties. The New York Times first reported the news.
Under court supervision, the company will also seek to sell its remaining stores, though it will “continue to conduct business and serve customers at its stores across the tri-state area and expects no interruption in service,” the company said.
The announcement follows a New York Post report Wednesday that suggested the grocer was planning to liquidate. As distressed customers lamented the news on social media, Fairway Market tweeted a rebuttal, stating that “Fairway Market has no intention to file for chapter 7 or liquidate all of its stores,” adding: “All 14 stores remain open for business, offering a complete range of high quality, specialty food products, and we look forward to seeing our customers and employees.”
Fairway did shut one store in September, in Nanuet, a Rockland County hamlet. It called that decision an isolated case, citing a drop in foot traffic at the mall where the store was housed after other stores in that shopping center closed.
In a statement Thursday, Fairway Market CEO Abel Porter thanked employees, vendors and customers for their support.
“After careful consideration of all alternatives, we have concluded that a court-supervised sale process is the best way to meet our objectives of preserving as many jobs as possible, maximizing value for our stakeholders, and positioning Fairway for long-term success under new ownership,” he said. [NYT] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan