SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Penn Traffic Co. here said Friday it plans to close five underperforming stores on Feb. 23 as part of its strategy to improve long-term financial performance while reinvesting in its core store portfolio. The stores encompass two P&C Markets in Plattsburgh and Horseheads, N.Y.; two BiLo units in Altoona and Somerset, Pa.; and a Quality Market in Erie, Pa. "Closing these underperforming stores was a difficult but necessary decision that will benefit the health and well-being of the company as a whole while allowing us to further invest in our customer experience,” said Greg Young, president and chief executive officer. The company said it has already made investments in key locations — to enhance store exteriors and interiors, and improve the overall shopping experience — and it expects "to continue and accelerate that process in its core store portfolio" during 2008 and beyond, Young said. Prior to the five closings, Penn Traffic operates 103 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire and serves 121 independent operators through a wholesale food distribution business.
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