While A&P’s stores and associated real estate have been the focus of the retailer’s bankruptcy wind-down, now the brand itself is going on the block.
Hilco Streambank said Friday that it would be taking bids for the intellectual property of A&P, which includes brand names for its stores and private brands, its slogans and customer data.
“The A&P banners, trademarks and brands have longstanding and strong recognition by consumers in the Northeast as well as other markets throughout the country,” Hilco Streambank EVP David Peress said in a statement. “A&P offers a robust portfolio of private label brands across multiple categories with innovative formulations and labeling, accompanied by rich content including signage, websites and videos.”
The sale includes all intellectual property associated with the A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s, Super Fresh, Food Basics and Best Cellars brands, as well as private label product brands such as America’s Choice, Woodson & James, Green Way, Jane Parker, Via Roma, and Live Better, among others. The sale is being conducted pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code in A&P’s Chapter 11 case pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The bid deadline is Nov. 19.
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The A&P brand has a rich history in the development of modern retail grocery. The company opened its first shop in 1859 on Vesey Street in New York and established The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company brand to commemorate the Transcontinental Railway in 1869. At its height, the A&P banner was spread from coast to coast.
Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based brand consultant with Ries & Ries, told SN in an interview Friday that she felt A&P’s brand and iconography had nostalgic value but she was unsure how that could translate to present value. She suggested investors and companies that specialize in “orphan brands” could have interest.
"A&P is a heritage brand and a name that needs no introduction to the public — that has value," Todd Radom, a brand designer based in Brewster, N.Y., told SN. "Heritage brands are revived all the time. Pabst Blue Ribbon would be a very visible example."
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