Fairway Market denies report it is going out of business
Fairway Market says it is not calling it quits.
The legendary New York City grocer issued a statement saying it has no intention to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or liquidate all its stores. The statement followed a report by the New York Post that Fairway is planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and that it will close all 15 of its stores.
“Such statements are categorically untrue and disappointing,” Fairway stated. “Fairway has been engaged in a strategic process and expects to soon announce a value maximizing transaction that will provide for the ongoing operations of stores. Our lenders remain extremely supportive of our efforts. All 14 stores remain open for business.”
Fairway, which dates back to 1933, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016 but kept all of its stores while the owners reorganized their finances. The retailer is challenged with $174 million of debt and expensive leases, including $6 million in rent on its flagship store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, according to ny1.com.
which means the grocery chain does not currently have a plan to continue to exist — unlike when it filed what’s known as a Chapter 11 reorganization plan in 2016, sources told The Post.
Under the current plan, Fairway will close all 14 of its stores, including its flagship store at Broadway and West 74th Street, sources said. The liquidation could be announced as soon as Wednesday, sources said.
The liquidation plan comes despite ongoing interest by a potential rival in acquiring the Fairway brand, which dates to 1933 when the Glickberg family opened a fruit-and-vegetable stand on the Upper West Side, sources said.
Village Super Market, the publicly held owner of ShopRite, has expressed interest in acquiring a handful of Fairway stores and keeping the name, sources tell The Post.
“Village Super Market is very well capitalized and they are successful in the suburbs,” said one industry insider. “There are no ShopRites in Manhattan,” this person said of the firm, which did not respond for comment.
As The Post first reported on Jan. 2, Fairway has been toying with bankruptcy protection after failing to find a buyer for its 14 stores last year.
Aside from Village Super Market, prospective buyers of stores owned by Brigade Capital Management and Goldman Sachs Group were scared off by its $174 million debt and expensive leases, including $6 million in rent on its flagship store, sources explained.