Fairway announced the results of its bankruptcy auction on Wednesday, revealing that four Manhattan stores, a Bronx production and distribution center, and a Brooklyn store have been sold to two different companies. Plus, the leases to two New Jersey locations were sold to Amazon.
The company, which started as a produce stand on the Upper West Side in the 1930s before becoming a private equity acquisition in 2007, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, as more competition from traditional brick-and-mortar chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and online grocers like FreshDirect has shifted its fortunes.
Village Super Market, which operates the ShopRite supermarket brand, is paying $76 million the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and Kips Bay stores in Manhattan; the Pelham store in Pelham Manor, NY; the parking lot next to the Harlem store; and the production and distribution center in the Bronx. The Georgetowne store in Brooklyn was won by Seven Seas Georgetowne (a Key Food member) with a $5 million bid.
Brooklyn-based Bogopa, which operates under Food Bazaar, had submitted the runner-up bid of $75 million for five Manhattan stores, the Pelham Manor store, and the Bronx production and distribution center.
Amazon will pay $1.5 million for the leases to the Paramus and Woodland Park stores in New Jersey. Amazon had apparently been interested in some New York City stores (including Red Hook), reportedly with an eye towards distribution, but the Post reports that Local 1500, which represents grocery workers, "fought hard against non-union bids."
Village Super Market also bought the right to operate stores under the Fairway name. The bulk of the $76 million purchase price—nearly three-quarters of it—is going towards Upper West Side and Upper East Side stores and their inventory.
Fairway's Chelsea, Harlem, and Red Hook stores were not part of any of the bids. However, in a press release they stated, "Fairway Market continues to serve its communities by operating all of its stores, including stores not sold during the Court-supervised auction, and intends to do so for the foreseeable future to accommodate the current public need for our products."
The Post reports that, according to sources, "the chain intends to keep all of its stores, including the ones that didn’t get bids, open until at least August as skyrocketing coronavirus cases boost demand for basic goods. 'Business is certainly better than it was and it might provide a livable situation in the short run,' a source close to the bankruptcy said."