Fairway, the quintessential NYC grocery chain, has filed for bankruptcy after 80+ years in business. The market "Like No Other Market" has crashed, and the Upper West Side (among other places) may someday be forced to think the unthinkable.
If Fairway goes under the UWS will crater.
— Dave Greenfield (@thedaveygshow) April 25, 2016
The operator for the company (Fairway Group Holdings Corp.) made the announcement in a press release today, explaining that they had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week with a plan to implement a financial restructuring (to the tune of $140M) and free up money to spend on technology and other upgrades.
You can get more details on the financial aspect of the move at the Wall Street Journal (the company totaled $279 million in debt at the time of the bankruptcy filing), but the Times compared the move to the "myriad oil and gas companies filing bankruptcy petitions these days: An eager business sets its sight on a major expansion, beyond what the market can support."
Here's the most important thing for people who rely on the chain: Fairway's 15 stores, which include seven in the city, shouldn't be affected by the move. "The Company expects no interruptions to customer service throughout the process," they promised in the release.
"We believe that implementing this Prepackaged Plan is the best opportunity for Fairway to restructure its balance sheet on an expedited basis, strengthen its operations, retain jobs and create long-term value, while continuing to provide customers with the best food experience in the greater New York area," said Jack Murphy, Chief Executive Officer. "Over 80 years ago, Fairway started as a fresh fruit and veggie stand at the corner of 74th & Broadway. It grew into the greatest food store in the country. Fairway is famous for apples stacked to the ceiling, olives straight from Italy, New York style bagels, hand sliced smoked salmon, prime beef and specialty imports. Nobody slices a fish or boils a bagel like us. Nobody."
While I agree with the sentiments of Murphy's statement, some of us can also remember a time when nobody could beat a certain Wiz (which also filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to restructure), and how that all turned out.