Amazon reportedly has offered to buy two New York and two New Jersey stores of upscale grocer Fairway Market, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Late yesterday, the New York Post reported that Amazon has made bids for Fairway’s stores in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, N.Y. (New York City); Pelham Manor, N.Y. (in New York’s Westchester County); and Woodland Park and Paramus, N.J. The Post cited an anonymous source who said the deep-pocketed e-tail giant is expected to win the auction for the Fairway stores, held this week.
Seattle-based Amazon declined to discuss the report. “Amazon doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation,” the company said in an email statement on Friday.
The Post report comes as Amazon hatches new physical grocery store concepts. Earlier this month, Amazon opened a 10,400-square-foot Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle, which showed that the e-tailer can scale the cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology from its Amazon Go convenience stores to a neighborhood market format. Amazon also has confirmed plans to open an as-yet-unnamed grocery store in Woodland Hills, Calif., this year, part of a reported new supermarket chain planned by the company, aside from its Whole Foods Market subsidiary.
So far, three bidders have emerged for some of the 14 Fairway stores, including Amazon, Bogopa Enterprises and ShopRite operator Village Super Market.
Last week, Fairway received a $75 million “qualified overbid” for its five Manhattan stores, Pelham Manor store and Bronx distribution center from Brooklyn-based Bogopa, which operates 26 Food Bazaar supermarkets in New York City, New York’s Westchester County and Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. Fairway also said at the time it was evaluating competitive offers for various other stores.
And in January, Fairway unveiled a $70 million stalking-horse bid for its five Manhattan stores and DC from Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative member Village Super Market. Springfield, N.J.-based Village owns and operates 30 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, Maryland, New York City and Pennsylvania and three Gourmet Garage specialty markets in New York City. The bid came the same day that New York-based Fairway announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Fairway currently operates eight stores in New York City, including five in Manhattan (Chelsea, Harlem, Kips Bay, Upper East Side and Upper West Side), two in Brooklyn (Georgetown and Red Hook) and one in Queens (Douglaston). The chain also operates two stores in Long Island (Westbury and Plainview); one in Westchester County (Pelham Manor); two in New Jersey (Paramus and Woodland Park); and one in Connecticut (Stamford).
Fairway’s retail locations also include two Wine & Spirits stores in New Jersey and one each in New York and Connecticut.