Big Isles Sure SaveBy Bruce Dunford
to close some stores
The Big Island's Sure Save grocery chain said it plans to close some of its stores and minimarts next month as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
At a bankruptcy court hearing yesterday in Honolulu, Sure Save attorney Ashley Danker didn't say which of the chain's 10 stores would close, but said the closings should cut the company's monthly electric bill by more than 50 percent. The closings will be discussed with lenders and creditors at a meeting this week and are subject to court approval, Danker said. It's not known how many of the chain's 200 employees would be affected.
During the hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King approved the budget for a $250,000 loan for the stores' ongoing operations pending reorganization.
King also ordered Sure Save to pay $85,000 immediately to cover its June electric bill and within 14 days, put a $50,000 deposit on the July bill which Danker estimated would be $35,000 for the stores remaining open.
Sure Save Super Markets filed for bankruptcy protection June 8, listing debts of at least $10 million, including $1.1 million to Hawaii Electric Light Co.
As part of the reorganization, the 66-year-old company is selling its distribution center south of Hilo to Aloha Hawaii Enterprises for $4 million.
The grocery chain operates supermarkets in Hilo, Keaau and Captain Cook, an Island Market grocery store in Naalehu, six Wiki-Wiki convenience stores around the Big Island and a Wiki-Wiki Video.
Sure Save's list of unsecured creditors besides Hawaii Electric Light Co., includes Certified Grocers of California, for $1.07 million; Excelsior Dairy of Hilo, $296,000; Cal-Kona Produce of Kealakekua, $250,000; and Matson Navigation Co., $233,000.