Fairway Market files for bankruptcy, denies report it’s closing all stores

Fairway Market has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a day after refuting reports that it was planning to close all its stores.

Fairway, which has 14 stores, entered into what's known as a stalking horse agreement with Village Super Market, the owner of ShopRite, to sell up to five NY stores and a distribution center for $70 million.

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Nevertheless, in a bankruptcy filing late Wednesday, the 87-year-old supermarket didn't rule out a liquidation as it scrambles to sell assets.

The deal includes Fairway's flagship Upper West Side store at 2131 Broadway along with its Harlem, Chelsea, Kips Bay and Upper East Side locations, court records show.

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"Perry and Nick Sumas opened the first Village Market in 1937, and our family continues to believe deeply in the importance of neighborhood grocery stores", said Robert Sumas, CEO of Springfield, N.J. -based Village Super Market, which operates 30 supermarkets and specialty markets in the Northeast under the ShopRite and Gourmet Garage banners.

The report also said the company would close all stores, which Fairway has denied. Fairway plans to continue doing business at its markets during the proceedings. "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".

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