In limbo: Penn Traffic fate hangs in balance

They've been in business for 67 years, but all those years don't amount to much when the bills that need to be paid add up to more than the company's income.

The announcement that Penn Traffic, the parent company of P&C grocery stores, was filing for Chapter 11 protection came as a shock to many small communities last month. Penn Traffic operates 79 stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, a majority of which are P&C. They also are a parent company for Quality Markets and BiLo Foods.

According to Terry Kushner, vice president of advertising and marking for Penn Traffic, all stores are going to be affected by the bankruptcy and will cease operations as part of the proceedings, though when stores will officially be closed is subject to court proceedings.

Kushner said when it comes to the Chapter 11 proceedings, decisions are "completely out of the company's hands." Business decisions ultimately rest with the judge overseeing the bankruptcy process and the creditors. At this time, Kushner said there is very little solid, definitive information regarding how the bricks will fall.

"When there are definitive answers ... we'll be issuing updated statements," he said.

Part of the bankruptcy process includes Penn Traffic selling off all assets such as buildings where the stores are located. There are 11 P&C locations in Onondaga County and three in Madison County, which all will be closing at some point in the near future.

"The company anticipates that through the Chapter 11 process it will continue to operate its stores while it undertakes a process of soliciting interest and bids for all or substantially all of its businesses and assets," the Penn Traffic Company said in a statement. "That process is underway, and the company has entered into an arrangement with its secured lenders that is expected to provide sufficient liquidity during the process."

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