A&P CEO exits as Q2 loss widens

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. said Tuesday that its president and CEO Eric Claus will resign effective immediately.

While the company seeks a successor, chairman Christian Haub will reassume the CEO role, a position he held from 1998 to 2005

Claus's departure comes as the company reported a wider loss in its fiscal second quarter, hampered by increased unemployment and tougher price competition.

The grocer lost $80.3 million in the 2Q ended September 12, compared with a loss of $18.1 million in the year-ago period. Sales fell to $2.1 billion from $2.2 billion. Analysts were expecting sales of $2.12 billion.

Comp-store sales fell 3.8%.

According to Haub, “The current challenging economy continues to impact our business. The macro headwinds including rising unemployment, intensifying price competition and now also deflation are creating an even more difficult short-term economic environment.”

Haub added, “I would like to thank Eric Claus for his contributions to our company during his tenure at A&P and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The company operates 432 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the trade names A&P, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Pathmark Sav-a-Center, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh and Food Basics

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