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New York Attorney General Letitia James recently announced an agreement she believes will help New York residents of several cities maintain choices and competitive prices when shopping at supermarkets.
In an agreement with the companies that run the Schenectady-based Price Chopper supermarket chain and the Williamsville-based Tops Friendly Market supermarket chain, Attorney General James secured the divestment of 11 stores located in New York in connection with the companies’ proposed merger.
This agreement resolves an eight-month investigation that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) conducted alongside the Federal Trade Commission.
“It’s simple: More choices and competition at the supermarket mean better prices and more savings for consumers,” James said. “As many New Yorkers continue to suffer the financial impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the last thing that should be happening is for supermarkets to let an anticompetitive merger cut choices and raise prices. The agreement not only ensures that residents of multiple cities across upstate New York will continue to have choices when grocery shopping at Price Chopper and Tops — protecting their wallets from unrelenting price hikes — but it also preserves existing union contracts — protecting workers’ rights and their benefits.”
The companies operating Price Chopper and Tops announced their proposed merger in February 2021. While both companies have a large presence in the state — with approximately 150 supermarkets each — the companies largely do not compete head-to-head in most areas.
However, in the regions where the divestitures will occur — the Capital Region, Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier — the OAG found that the merger would have eliminated a direct supermarket competitor; leaving a single supermarket in three cities and, at most, one to two other supermarkets in the remaining cities.
By requiring the parties to sell the Tops stores in those cities to C&S, the largest private wholesale grocery distributor in the country, the OAG will help maintain competition in those areas.
Below is the list of Tops Friendly Market stores that will close. Stores will start closing in January.
TOPS STORE CITY COUNTY
#568 Cooperstown Otsego
#517 Cortland Cortland
#569 Norwich Chenago
#579 Owego Tioga
#713 Peru Clinton
#587 Rome Oneida
#707 Saranac Lake Franklin
#364 Sherrill Oneida
#701 Warrensburg Warren
#589 Watertown Jefferson
#597 Watertown Jefferson
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