PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Acme Markets is laying off 900 of its 14,000 employees in our region.

The 900 workers, all part-timers, are being laid off at the supermarket chain’s 117 stores in the area.

Acme president Dan Sanders says it’s a sad day.

“This decision, while regrettable because we know it impacts our associates, was necessary given the decline in sales volume that we’ve experienced over the last four years,” he told KYW Newsradio Thursday.

The move comes after the January decision to close five underperforming Acme stores in Pennsylvania and South Jersey (see previous story).

SThe chain’s parent company, Supervalu, is saddled with billions in debt. But Sanders says despite declining sales, Acme remains profitable.

Sanders says Acme will work with its unions to help employees with retraining or transfers where possible.

The layoffs take effect May 7th.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060