Strack & Van Til’s parent company, Central Grocers, Inc., voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for itself and all subsidiaries, with plans to sell off the chain and a distribution center as it looks to streamline.
"In light of the increasingly difficult environment for independent supermarkets and retailers, we have been working tirelessly to achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of our stakeholders,” said Ken Nemeth, Central Grocers’ President and CEO. “We are using this court-supervised sale process to provide us the time and flexibility to conduct an orderly sale of the Strack & Van Til stores, while we work to sell the warehouse in Joliet and wind down our wholesale distribution operations."
The retailer will keep all 22 Strack & Van Til, Town & Country Market, and Ultra Foods stores open during the process, according to a press release, with plans to pay employees in ordinary course. It also intends to pay vendors in full for goods and services provided on or after the filing date, May 4, 2017.
"Our stores are open, and we are as focused as ever on supporting our customers and providing the legendary service that we are known for,” Jeff Strack, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strack & Van Til, said. “As we move through this process, our priorities, values and commitments to our customers and our communities will not change. We thank our loyal customers for their continued support, and we thank our employees for their hard work and dedication."
To support operations during the court-supervised process, Central Grocers has filed a number of customary motions seeking court authorization to continue on. The company said that it has also been cooperating with its lenders and expects to have access to sufficient liquidity to continue operating its stores and winding down the distribution center, located in Joliet, in an orderly fashion as it looks to trim wholesale distribution operations.
The announcement came on the heels of a case filed by creditors like the Coca-Cola Company, General Mills, Mars Financial Services, and Post Consumer Brands calling for an involuntary bankruptcy to recoup a debt from the company totaling $1.8 million. In view of this voluntary move, however, Central Grocers said that it intends to file a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeking to dismiss the involuntary bankruptcy case.
As this story continues to develope, keep checking in with Deli Market News.