Is It Time to Sell Eight O’Clock Coffee?

Discussion
Jan 24, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The parent of the A&P supermarket chain, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., may be putting its Eight O’Clock Coffee business up for sale, according to published reports.


A&P has seen its stock take a nosedive amid investor concerns about the chain’s ability to compete in the markets it serves. The Eight O-Clock unit is said to generate approximately $20 million in annual profits on sales of $100 million.


Among the companies identified as possible bidders are Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Sara Lee and Wal-Mart.


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on a possible
sale of Eight O’Clock Coffee by A&P?


Having grown up in a family where the chief breadwinner
worked in store management for A&P, we find it hard to think of Eight O’Clock
Coffee belonging to any other company.


Selling Eight O’Clock would provide A&P with a short-term
financial benefit. It would also do away with one of the few things that makes
A&P unique to other retailers.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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