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C&S, dinged by A&P collapse, announces layoffs

Stung by the disintegration of A&P, C&S Wholesale Grocers confirmed it has laid off “a small percentage” of its workers in sites throughout the country.

In a statement provided to SN, the Keene, N.H.-based wholesaler also cited changing consumer buying patterns and retail channel shifting for triggering the restructuring. The changes are not expected to result in the closing of any of C&S's facilities, SN has learned.

"As a family-owned company, we recognize the impact this restructuring will have on our employees and their families,” Rick Cohen, CEO, said in the statement. “Unfortunately, the reality of our industry is that we have to make changes, including the difficult decision to restructure some of our core functions and reduce our workforce, to ensure the competitive strength of C&S going forward.”


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A&P, which did retail sales of $5.5 billion in the fiscal year ended in February and bought approximately 65% of all its goods from C&S, declared bankruptcy in July and is selling off its stores, many to retailers with other wholesale agreements. C&S is also A&P’s largest creditor: It had $39.4 million in claims against A&P when it filed for protection in July. C&S is the national's largest grocery wholesaler with an estimated $24.8 billion in 2014 sales, according to SN's Top 75.

As reported in SN last week, C&S said it would close down two Maryland warehouses primarily supplying stores in Safeway’s Eastern division by December 5. Business from those facilities is to be consolidated at other C&S sites in Maryland and Pennsylvania. A source said the closure of the Maryland facilities was not related to the C&S restructuring. 

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