A&P, the US grocer that recently applied for Chapter 11 protection, plans to close 32 stores as it continues to implement its financial and operational restructuring.

The company announced yesterday (15 February) that the stores, located across six states, are expected to be closed, subject to court approval, during the first quarter of A&P’s next fiscal year, which starts in March.

A&P president and CEO Sam Martin said: “As part of our turnaround and our ongoing review of our store footprint, we have decided to close these 32 locations. While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, communities and employees, these actions are absolutely necessary as we work to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance.”

The retailer said that as part of the closure process, it will help affected staff “pursue other positions across the company, should open positions be available”, and that it will encourage customers to shop in its other stores.

Martin said that despite the closures, it is still working to enhance the overall shopping experience, including upgrading its private label brands. “We are moving forward aggressively to make strategic decisions that will position A&P for a strong future,” he said.