Tops Markets announces merger

Mark Gutman/Daily NewsShoppers enter the Tops Market in Batavia. The Williamsville-based chain has reached a merger agreement with the Price Chopper/Market 32 chain of Schenectady

WILLIAMSVILLE — A planned merger of Tops Markets with a Schenectady-based supermarket chain will have no impact on local operations, company officials said Monday.

Tops Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32 announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement, creating a powerful alliance between them.

The agreement will double their collective footprint in the Northeast.

“This transaction unites two iconic New York-based grocery chains with deep ties to their local communities and shared commitments to service, savings, and convenience,” officials from the two chains said in a news release. “With increased scale across their almost perfectly contiguous footprints, 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 companies believe the increased scale stemming from the merger will leave them better positioned to compete, while offering enhanced value and services to their customers across the Northeast.

Tops Markets operates 162 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five run by franchisees. It employs about 14,000 people.

Price Chopper/Market 32 operates 130 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores, along with one Market Bistro. The chain employing 18,000 employees in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Tops will continue to operate under the Tops identity, company representatives said.

“At this time, there are no planned closings of any stores,” they said. “The companies are working with the appropriate regulators and will know more in the coming weeks and months.

“There are no job losses planned,” they said. “Both companies are hiring people today for their stores and they anticipate continuing to do so.”

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.

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.

John Persons, Tops Markets President and Chief Operating Officer, will lead the Tops Markets business.

The new parent company will be headquartered in Schenectady. Tops Markets will retain its main offices in Williamsville and will continue to be managed locally.

Tops has locations in Albion, Arcade, Attica, Avon, Batavia, Dansville, Le Roy, Medina and Warsaw.

“This merger marks a major step forward and collectively elevates our ability to compete on every level,” Grimmett in the news release. “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,” he said.

“Tops has always put serving customers and providing an exceptional shopping experience at the center of everything we do, and this merger is no different,” Persons said. “Our associates, who take pride in their work and recognize the importance of the role they play in taking care of customers and communities, will continue to be the backbone of our company.”

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months. It is subject to regulatory approval.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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