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Price Chopper has made a bid to buy 22 stores currently owned by bankrupt fellow New York state-based grocer Penn Traffic Co. for $54 million, according to published reports. The P&C stores are located in various towns and cities in the north and central parts of the state — including Penn Traffic’s hometown of Syracuse — as well as Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, where Schenectady-based Price Chopper already operates some units.
If the acquisition goes through — it must be approved by the judge overseeing Penn Traffic’s bankruptcy case — the additional stores will bring Price Chopper into more direct competition with Rochester-based Wegmans Food Markets, grocery consultant Willard Bishop told the Albany, N.Y., Times Union.
Neil Golub, president and CEO of Golub Corp., which owns the Price Chopper chain, Chopper, noted in the newspaper that the offer was part of his company’s growth strategy.
When contacted by Progressive Grocer, Golub officials were unavailable for further comment.
Wegmans’ recent growth has been in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. Company spokeswoman Jo Natale said in the Times Union that Wegmans had no plans to build any stores in New York.
Late last year, Price Chopper bought P&C stores in Oswego, N.Y., and Lebanon, N.H., and in October 2009 — before Penn Traffic filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — put in a bid to purchase four New York P&C locations for $12.3 million.