Asian-American supermarket chain Hmart is set to open a renovated store next week at the former Waldbaum’s in Jericho, which it bought from the bankrupt Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.
Hmart, based in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, will hold a grand opening on Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. of the more than 60,000-square-foot store at 336 N. Broadway in Jericho. As part of the celebration, Hmart will have performances of traditional Korean folk dances and Chinese lion dances, the company announced Wednesday.
“As the community waits for Hmart Jericho to open, Hmart will work hard each and every day to serve customers and go above and beyond any expectations,” Hmart Jericho store manager Ena Singh said in a statement.
Hmart’s name is derived from “Han Ah Reum,” which means “One Arm Full of Groceries” in Korean, according to the company website and a spokesman. The grocery store chain serves traditional American and international food, produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and ready-to-eat items.
The company opened its first store in Woodside, Queens, in 1982. It has 54 stores in 11 states, including two on Long Island, in Great Neck and Williston Park.
In November, a federal bankruptcy judge finally approved the $3.45 million bid from Hmart to buy the former Waldbaum’s store. A decision on the bid had been delayed at least four times.
As part of the court deal, Hmart agreed to make “good faith, best efforts” to hire qualified former A&P workers, but didn’t specify how many it would hire. At the time, Hmart argued its hiring needs were different because its employees needed to be able to read Korean product labels and be familiar with Asian foods.
On Wednesday a spokesman said the company had followed through on its agreement.
“We will be adding 90-100 jobs to the local economy and quite a few previous A&P employees,” the spokesman said. Since Waldbaum’s closed in November, “a lot of previous Walbaum’s employees already found a job,” he said.
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, filed in July 2015 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization.
All 51 Waldbaum’s and Pathmark stores operated by A&P on Long Island closed by November. Thirty were purchased by supermarket chains, 20 were turned over to their landlords and one was sold to a real estate company.