Price Chopper (New York)

Price Chopper (New York)

company_name = Price Chopper
company_type = Private
foundation = 1973 (Schenectady, New York)
location = Rotterdam, New York
industry = Retail
products = Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, sushi, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor
homepage = []
:"For other stores with this name, see Price Chopper."

Price Chopper is a chain of supermarkets headquartered in Rotterdam, New York. The chain began operating as Central Markets in Schenectady, New York in 1933 and changed its name to Price Chopper in 1973. It is presently owned by the Golub Corporation and run by Lewis and Neil Golub. In 2007, it was announced that current headquarters would be converted entirely into warehouse space, with the company's offices moving to downtown Schenectady by 2009.


In 1933, Russian Jewish immigrants Bernard and William Golub opened their first Central Markets in Schenectady, NY. It was a success and they continued to open many more stores in the region. In 1943, the Golub brothers bought out Joseph Grosberg and formed the present parent company, the Golub Corporation. In 1951, they were one of the first grocery chains in the country to issue the well-known S&H Green Trading Stamps.

In the fall of 1973, Central Markets changed their operating strategy. They dropped the Green Stamps, slashed their prices, and to reflect this new strategy changed the stores' name to Price Chopper. (The name Central Markets is now used as their upscale house brand.) Since then Price Chopper has continued to grow, opening new stores and upgrading old ones. The early logo used a stylized silver dollar with the axe blade chopping directly into Liberty's forehead.

tore Modernization Project (1980s-1990s)

Price Chopper was an early innovator in the conversion of conventional stores to superstores and combination (food and drug) units. The first Price Chopper Super Center opened in the early 1980s in Latham, New York, followed by an even larger unit constructed in Glens Falls, New York, in 1986. The Super Centers, which were state of the art by 1980s standards, often featured full-service meat, seafood, and bakery departments, as well as pharmacies and banks (features new to supermarkets at the time). These units were also known for their unconventional layouts with aisles facing horizontally, or away from the cash registers, rather than the traditional vertical arrangement with the aisles facing the cash register area. Very few Price Chopper stores still retain this layout today; examples are the locations in Colonie, New York, Binghamton, New York and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

In 1993, Price Chopper launched an updated version of the Super Center format with their South Hills Mall store (#2--store closed on July 15, 2006 and is being converted into a ShopRite) in Poughkeepsie, New York when the chain entered Dutchess County, New York. The updated concept had a greater emphasis on take-out/ready meals, some featuring food courts with Price Chopper's own in-house branded concepts, including Roasters (rotisserie), Bella Roma (pizza), Coyote Joes (tacos), and the Bagel Factory. Under the newer prototype, the aisles were also placed back in the traditional vertical arrangement at the request of many customers finding the former layout quite confusing.

Expansion into New England

Prior to 1990, Price Chopper was barely a player in the New England market, with only about a half dozen outlets in Massachusetts and Vermont; they acquired the now-defunct Giant Value supermarket chain in the late 1970s, which accounted for most of their New England locations at the time. However, beginning in the early 1990s, the chain began an aggressive expansion eastward into the New England region, primarily focusing on further growth in Vermont and Massachusetts. Today the chain operates about 35 stores in this region and continues to grow.

In 1990, Price Chopper acquired many stores in Vermont from Syracuse-based P&C Food Markets. (The FTC was requiring P&C to sell off several stores at the time because of its parent company's decision to increase its ownership stake in the Grand Union Co.) Throughout the 1990s, Price Chopper made an attempt to either modernize, expand, or construct replacement stores for many of the acquired P&C locations.

In 1995, Price Chopper acquired The Wonder Market Companies' twelve Big D stores in the Worcester, Massachusetts area, rebranding them or replacing them with Price Chopper stores.

In 1999, Price Chopper opened its first New Hampshire store in West Lebanon. However, the chain has been slow to grow in the Granite State, as it only recently opened its second New Hampshire location in January 2006 - a 74,000 square foot market center in Keene.

In recent years, Price Chopper has also begun to expand rapidly into Connecticut (primarily in the Hartford suburbs) where it now operates six stores and recently opened a seventh on August 21st in Windsor Connecticut. During grand opening of Windsor store #221, Price Chopper raised the most they ever have for their non-profit organization.

Attempt at convenience retailing

In 2002, Price Chopper exited the convenience store business by leasing out its remaining convenience locations to Petroleum Marketing, a Getty operator. Price Chopper had attempted to enter the convenience store business during the 1980s by opening smaller stores with gas under the "Mini Chopper" trade name, but was largely unsuccessful. It was perhaps quite difficult for Price Chopper to emerge as a successful convenience retailer with Saratoga Springs, NY-based Stewart's Shops already having such an overwhelmingly dominant position in the convenience store business throughout large portions of Price Chopper's market area.


Price Chopper currently operates 114 stores in Upstate New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Its locations are all serviced from the same warehouse in Rotterdam, NY. Price Chopper's primary market is still the Capital District of New York, where about one-third of its store base is located. Other major markets for Price Chopper include Utica, Syracuse, and Binghamton in New York, as well as Scranton, Pennsylvania, Worcester, MA, and Burlington, VT. Price Chopper primarily competes with Hannaford, Shaw's, and Stop & Shop in the eastern portion of its trading area, while facing competition from Wegmans, and Penn Traffic (P&C) in the west.

The Golub Corporation, a leading employer in the Capital District of New York, is 55% employee-owned, with the other 45% remaining in the hands of the Golub family. President and CEO Neil Golub is a well-known philanthropist in the region. Price Chopper's charitable arm, the Golub Foundation, sponsors many special events such as the Empire State Plaza's annual Independence Day celebration in Albany, New York.

On November 7, 2006 it was announced that Price Chopper may buy the Buffalo, New York based TOPS Supermarket chain from AHOLD USA or a significant amount of their stores. []

As of April 2008 it is said that the Waterbury, CT location will be closing and the location is being purchased by rival chain Shoprite. Thus marking a huge step back for the chain in a highly competitive area which recently saw the Shaw's Waterbury location close up in September 2007.

The May 20th Waterbury Republican Newspaper confirmed that the Waterbury Price Chopper is closing for good at 6PM June 9th. []

Ben and Bill's

In late 2005, renovations on the eight year-old Slingerlands store (#159) began. Plans for the renovation included the opening of a New York-style sandwich shop to be named "Ben and Bill's" after the founders of the company. If the sandwich shop is successful at the Slingerlands store, it will be incorporated into stores throughout the chain. The Sandwich Shop is now open, selling a variety of pre-packaged products, such as typical New York City pastries, along with sandwiches and deli items. It stands next to the store's regular deli and is themed to look like a traditional New York City delicatessen. The second Ben and Bill's is set to open July '08 in the Saratoga Springs (#158) store.

Market share by region

Price Chopper holds a strong position in several of the markets in which it operates, including Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY, Worcester, MA, and Utica-Rome, NY.

"'Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (Capital Region)

1.) Price Chopper - 36.0%

2.) Hannaford - 21.1%

3.) Stewart's Shops - 12.7%

4.) Wal-Mart Supercenters - 10.9%

5.) BJ's Wholesale Club - 5.6%

"(Source: Supermarket News, October 17, 2005)"

Worcester, MA

1.) Price Chopper - 19.5%*

2.) Shaw's - 18.7%

3.) Stop & Shop - 18.2%

4.) Hannaford - 11.9%

"(Source: Supermarket News, October 17, 2005)"

"* Figure was combined with Big D/Wonder Markets which was acquired by Price Chopper"

Utica-Rome, NY

1.) Wal-Mart Supercenters - 26.1%

2.) Price Chopper - 17.6%

3.) Hannaford - 13.3%

4.) Tops Markets - 12.9%*

5.) Penn Traffic (P&C) - 9.8%

"(Source: Supermarket News, October 17, 2005)"

"*Since this study was conducted, Tops has exited the Utica market and sold three of its units to Hannaford"

Burlington, VT

1.) Hannaford - 48.9%

2.) Shaw's - 18.4%

3.) Costco - 12.6%

4.) Price Chopper - 11.6%

5.) Grand Union- 5.5%

"(Source: Supermarket News, October 17, 2005)"

Poughkeepsie, NY

1.) Wakefern (ShopRite) - 21.9%

2.) Stop & Shop - 20.0%

3.) Hannaford - 13.7%

4.) Wal-Mart Supercenters - 8.4%

5.) Price Chopper - 6.7%

"(Source: Supermarket News, October 17, 2005)"

Syracuse, NY

1.) Wegmans - 37%

2.) Penn Traffic (P&C) - 20%

3.) Price Chopper - 12%

"(Source: MMR, June 13, 2005, "Top 100 Markets")"

External links

* [ Price Chopper Website]
* [ Hoovers Fact Sheet for Golub Corporation]

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