Central Grocers, Inc., a grocery cooperative that serves independent supermarket retailers in the Chicagoland area, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

The company said it intends to use the process to conduct a sale of its Strack & Van Til stores as it anticipates entering into a sale agreement with a bidder in the near future.

Central Grocers is also seeking to sell its distribution in Joliet, IL, as it winds down its wholesale distribution operations. The company has been cooperating with its lenders and expects to have access to sufficient liquidity to continue operating its stores and winding down the distribution in an orderly fashion.

Strack & Van Til Stores Are Open for Business

All 22 Strack & Van Til, Town & Country Market and Ultra Foods stores in Indiana and Illinois are open and serving customers. Employees are receiving their pay in the ordinary course. Strack & Van Til intends to pay vendors in full for goods and services provided on or after the filing date of May 4.

Jeff Strack, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strack & Van Til, said, "Our stores are open, and we are as focused as ever on supporting our customers and providing the legendary service that we are known for. As we move through this process, our priorities, values and commitments to our customers and our communities will not change. We thank our loyal customers for their continued support, and we thank our employees for their hard work and dedication."