Photo by Dougie WII on Wikimedia
Amazon has acquired the leases for two Fairway Market stores in New Jersey, half the number of stores the company originally hoped to buy. According to Supermarket News, the online retailer will acquire Fairway’s Paramus and Woodland Park, N.J. store leases for $1.5 million. It’s unclear why Amazon’s offer for stores in Red Hook and Westchester fell through. The auction comes just a few months after the beloved New York City grocery store filed for bankruptcy.
Photo by Boris Dunand on Unsplash
By now, we’ve all seen the lines wrapping around the block to get into Trader Joe’s or the crazed shoppers buying 100 rolls of toilet paper. And all of this panic shopping and stockpiling, coupled with the state’s new guidelines on businesses, has caused grocery stores in the region to adjust their hours and practices. From reduced hours to elderly-only shopping times to purchase limits, this is how businesses like Trader Joe’s, Fairway, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and some more local spots are coping amidst the coronavirus health crisis.
The original Fairway at West 74th and Broadway; image via Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that beloved grocery chain Fairway would be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing all of its stores, but on Wednesday, Fairway took to Twitter to deny the claims. “Despite reports, Fairway Market has no intention to file for Chapter 7 or liquidate all of its stores,” the grocer tweeted. It’s unclear why the grocer made these statements since it’s now confirmed that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, under which they will engage in a supervised sale of their remaining stores, reports the Times.
It boasts spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. It features original Civil War-era wood beams and natural oak flooring. But the best attribute of the two-and-a-half bedroom apartment available to rent at 275 Conover Street might very well be the Fairway Market located on the ground floor of the building. Found in the historic Red Hook Stores building, a 1860s-era warehouse with renovated loft apartments, the pad is asking $7,000 per month (grocery bill not included). As Brick Underground learned, that’s roughly two and a half times the median rent for a two-bedroom in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
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Fairway Market in Red Hook via Cindy Day/Flickr
Though they once had ambitious plans to expand beyond New York City, Fairway Group Holdings Corp. is struggling with debt instead, reports Bloomberg Business. The company has incurred massive debt in order to finance its expansion plans and is in danger of default, according to analyst reports, and its “capital structure remains unsustainable.” In addition to putting the brakes on expansion plans, the company has been advised to close some stores outside New York.
Known for quality produce and well-curated private brands, Fairway Market stores are seen as perhaps the most representative of New York City when conversations turn to regional grocery loyalties. The gourmet grocery’s original store at 74th and Broadway on the Upper West Side, with its cramped-and-bustling atmosphere, is a cult favorite for Manhattanites. The 52,000-square-foot Red Hook location in an historic coffee warehouse, opened in 2006, is credited in part with anchoring that neighborhood’s renaissance.
Competition and bad timing