$250M IT upgrade will spoil supermarket chain's profits

A $250 million investment in new computer systems will improve distribution but nibble away at fiscal 2000 profits at Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., according to a company report.

The move by the Montvale, N.J.-based supermarket company is the latest in an effort to streamline operations for its various chain stores, which include A&P, Food Emporium, Waldbaum's and SuperFresh stores, said Marvin Roffman, president of financial management company Roffman Miller Associates in Philadelphia.

Last year, the nation's oldest supermarket chain divested itself of more than 100 underperforming stores.

Last month, A&P President and CEO Christian Haub announced a realignment of store management into regional divisions.

"I'd heard they were looking for a strategic alliance," Roffman said. A modernized IT infrastructure would help make A&P more attractive to potential partners, he added.

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Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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