Supermarket operator Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has again extended the deadline for bid submissions on 177 stores, including 36 Waldbaum's and Pathmarks on Long Island.

In a filing submitted Thursday evening in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, A&P pushed back the deadline for bid submissions by four days from Thursday to Monday at 5 p.m. The original deadline was Sept. 11.

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A&P had initially said it extended deadlines the first time because it wanted "to avoid logistical complications arising from" the visit of Pope Francis to New York City, which begins on Sept. 24, the convening of the United Nations General Assembly and religious holidays.

A&P already delayed the dates for the auction from Sept. 24-25 to now Oct. 1-2. Successful bidders will be announced Oct. 3.

Last month, A&P announced that more than 5,000 employees at stores on Long Island could lose their jobs between October and Thanksgiving. It's still uncertain exactly how many workers will lose their jobs. Much will hinge on whether A&P can sell the stores.

A&P also has plans to close five supermarkets on Long Island: Pathmark stores in Centereach and on Grand Avenue in Baldwin, and Waldbaum's in Carle Place, Oceanside and Riverhead.