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Business/Economy

Tops, Price Choppers to retain their own identities in merger

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Tops Markets / Price Choppers
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It is one of the larger moves in the supermarket world. Tops Markets CEO Frank Curci talked about the grocer's announced merger with Price Chopper.

Officials are calling this a merger, not a takeover, eventhough Price Chopper is a little larger and its CEO, Scott Grimmett, will be the CEO of the new parent company that will oversee both organizations. Curci, who has been Tops CEO for 14 years, will help with the transition and serve on the board of the new parent company.

He stressed that the two organizations will retain their individual identities, and said this merger is needed to stay strong and competitive.

"For us, the ability to build that scale and really have the money and the resources to fight in the future," Curci said. "I think this is going to be great for Tops and our communities."

Curci believes combining the two companies will provide more capital to enhance the shopping experience for customers.

Of course, Tops is a union company, while Price Chopper is not. About 10,000 Tops workers are represented by UFCW Local One. Its president, Frank DeRiso, has expressed concerns about what could happen to his members a couple of years down the road.

Curci maintained Tops will continue to have a unionized workforce.

"We're a union company, you know. We will stay that way," he said. "Price Chopper is a non-union organization. All the more reason to keep, you know, things separate between the two companies. We're both happy with what we do and none of that will change. And there'll be no attempt to close any stores here in Western New York."

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