Marsh Supermarkets has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the District of Delaware, a step the company has taken to enable its business operations to continue normally as it seeks a buyer for all or part of the 86-year-old grocery store chain.

All of the company’s 44 locations will continue normal operations throughout this process. The company retained Peter J. Solomon Company as investment bank to market its assets.

Marsh is represented by Robert S. Brady and Michael R. Nestor of the law firm Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor. Lee Diercks, partner of Clear Thinking Group, is acting as chief restructuring officer, and Clear Thinking Group is acting as the company’s financial advisor.

“While today’s decision was extremely difficult, we believe this action is necessary to preserve the value of the business as we seek a sale,” said Chief Executive Officer Tom O’Boyle. “After reviewing every alternative, we concluded that Chapter 11 clearly provides the most effective and efficient means to ensure the best recovery for the company’s stakeholders.”

The Chapter 11 filing permits daily operations to continue without interruption. The stores will remain open and serving customers, employees will continue to receive their usual salary and benefits, and goods and services purchased by the company, after the May 11, 2017 filing date, will be paid for in the ordinary course of business.

As is customary, the filing triggers an automatic stay, which precludes the company from paying amounts owed for pre-petition goods and services without a court order.