Tops Markets, Price Chopper Announce Merger

Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that nearly doubles their collective footprint in the Northeast.

This transaction unites two New York-based independent grocery chains with deep ties to their local communities and shared commitments to service, savings, and convenience. According to a statement, the merged companies are expected to be better positioned to compete and offer even more value and outstanding services to their customers across the Northeast.

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 continue to be managed locally by their respective leaders.

Tops Markets operates 162 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five franchisees. Based in Williamsville, NY, it is the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with more than 14,000 associates.

Price Chopper/Market 32 operates 130 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores and one Market Bistro, employing 18,000 teammates in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Based in Schenectady, NY, the grocery chain was founded by the Golub family in 1932.

Scott Grimmett, Price Chopper/Market 32’s President and CEO, will be CEO 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 and collectively employ more than 30,000 teammates.

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“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.”

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.

“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 the 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.”

With formative roots dating back to the 1920s, both Tops Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32 have grown exponentially over the last century, building and acquiring stores across Upstate New York and throughout the Northeast. The merged companies are committed to serving their markets across the Northeast.

“I’ve seen tremendous change in our industry across my 65-year career and have long been an advocate for the promise of innovation and partnership, like that which has driven this merger forward,” said Neil Golub, Price Chopper/Market 32’s Executive Chairman of the Board.

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Regarding Tops Markets merging with Price Chopper, the UFCW Local One, which represents 10,000 Tops markets employees, stated that “this is a marriage of a total union operator, Tops Friendly Markets with a totally non-union operator the Golub Corporation.”

Frank C. DeRiso, President of UFCW Local One, said that the union “will use every legal measure to make sure our members are treated fairly, and we look forward to working with the new management, as we always have, to ensure of members have stable employment.”