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Waldbaum’s in Rockville Centre to close

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As The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, 14 subsidiary stores in four states will be closing — among them the Waldbaum’s located on Sunrise Highway and Ocean Avenue in Rockville Centre.

According to a press release from A&P, the company has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy court for the South District of New York requesting the approval of the store closures, which, if OK’d, will occur during the fiscal first quarter.

“We are continuing to take the steps necessary to position A&P to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strong future and ensure that we remain focused on our top priority — providing great value and service to our customers every day,” said company president and CEO Sam Martin in the press release.

Martin acknowledged the difficulty the closures could place on customers and employees and said that they would work to place workers in other stores.

“While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, associates and the surrounding communities, these actions are absolutely necessary as we continue to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance,” Martin said.

According to Elizabeth Nicholson, a spokeswoman for A&P, the village’s Waldbaum’s was chosen for closure because it had been “underperforming.”

The store had been the victim of robbery on Aug. 21, 2010, when two men dressed all in black brandished handguns and ransacked its safe.