Price Chopper, Tops Supermarkets to Merge

SCHENECTADY — Two of the largest supermarket chains based in Upstate NY — Price Chopper and Tops — are planning to merge.

Price Chopper, which operates 130 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores and one Market Bistro, is based in Schenectady and founded by the Golub family in 1932. The chain employs 18,000 workers in New YorkVermontConnecticutPennsylvaniaMassachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets operates 162 grocery stores in New YorkPennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. Tops has 14,000 employees and is unionized. Price Chopper/Market 32 workers are not part of a union.

The merger unites two iconic New York-based grocery chains with deep ties to their local communities and shared commitments to service, savings, and convenience. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Most of the stores operated by the two companies don’t overlap so few closures are expected.  The merged companies will help compete in the Northeast against other larger national chains like Whole Foods, Aldi, Walmart and Trader Joe’s.

Scott Grimmett, Price Chopper/Market 32’s President and CEO, will be CEO of and serve on the Board of Directors of the new parent company which will oversee the operations of nearly 300 Price Chopper, Market 32, Market Bistro and Tops Markets stores that will employ more than 30,000 workers combined. Frank Curci, Tops Markets Chairman and CEO, will serve on the Board of Directors of the new parent company and as a consultant to assist in the transition. Blaine Bringhurst, Price Chopper/Market 32’s Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing and Store Operations, will lead the Price Chopper/Market 32 business. John Persons, Tops Markets President and Chief Operating Officer, will lead the Tops Markets business.

The new parent company will be headquartered in Schenectady, NY. The Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets businesses will retain main offices in Schenectady and Williamsville and will continue to be managed locally by their respective leaders. Price Chopper is the name of the chain’s original supermarkets, while new and remodeled locations have the Market 32 name.

“This merger marks a major step forward and collectively elevates our ability to compete on every level,” said Grimmett. “It leverages increased value for our customers; advances shared opportunities for innovation; fortifies the depth of our workforce, community and trade partnerships; and ultimately accelerates our capacity to deliver a distinctively modern and convenient shopping experience. Given the vital role that supermarkets and their workforces play in our communities, particularly this past year, I am excited to lead the parent company of these two historic grocery retailers.”

“We have long believed that this merger makes sense both strategically and based on the similar ways in which we each put customers first, go to market and treat our people,” said Curci. “We look forward to working closely with the Price Chopper/Market 32 team and together becoming an even stronger competitor with more scale, as we continue serving our customers and communities.”