(March 18) BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A Northeastern grocery chain is buying eight of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.’s New England stores.

The Montvale, N.J.-based A&P announced it had entered into an agreement to sell the northern New England stores to GU Family Markets, Brattleboro.

When the deal is finished, it would end A&P’s divestiture of its northern New England operations.

With $140 million in yearly sales, GU Family Markets, founded in 1872, is almost as old as the 145-year-old A&P, one of the nation’s first supermarket chains. GU Family Markets has 20 supermarkets in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania, according to Chain Store Guide’s 2002 Directory of Supermarket, Grocery and Convenience Store Chains.