GUILDERLAND Guilderland’s Price Chopper is next in line to become Market 32.
The Schenectady-based grocer announced Monday, Jan. 4 its Guilderland store, at the corner of routes 20 and 155, is changing its name as part of the company’s overall rebranding campaign.
The Price Chopper name is to be phased out over the next ten years.
The Guilderland store will shut down the evening of Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. and reopen in the spring once construction is completed.
Changes include a new Market 32 logo with the words “by Price Chopper” in smaller print; an open, an airy floor plan with modern print on signs for food sections in earth tones; as well as expanded ready-made food options and re-emphasis on customer service. Converted stores will have wifi and more allergy-free products as part of their focus on health and wellness.
The Guilderland Market 32 is the third to open in the Capital District, and one of the first since the company announced their revamp in November 2014, beginning with 5 test locations, which Golub Corporation, the owners of Price Chopper, promised to be “a complete refocus on the core values that our customers are looking for in a store.”
Last year, Market 32 conversions began at former Price Chopper locations in Clifton Hills, NY; Wilton, N.Y.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Sutton, Mass. and Clifton Park, N.Y. – the Capital District’s first, which is set to open this fall. Work is already under way at the area’s second Market 32 at Hudson Valley Plaza Price Chopper in Troy, which has remained open throughout the conversion process.
While construction is underway in Guilderland, employees will be temporarily relocated to a second Guilderland Price Chopper, which sits only two miles away at the corner of Western Avenue and Johson Road, as well as to other area Price Choppers.
“Given the unique configuration of this store, which is very long and narrow, it’s not practical for us to keep it open during the conversion,” said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services at Price Chopper and Market 32, who said the conversion would take “less than half the time it would have taken if we hadn’t closed it.”
“That location hadn’t been remodeled recently,” said Golub, in explanation for why the Guilderland Price Chopper was chosen as the next to be converted. “We’re not converting one at a time, we’re converting about 20 at a time,” she continued.
“It’s dozens of subtle changes, but the truth is the look and feel of the entire store will change.”
Another 10 to 15 stores will be converted in the following 18 months, and over $300 million will be spent over the next five years to convert more than half of the 132 Price Chopper stores across six states. Eventually all Price Choppers will become Market 32s in the next eight to nine years.
For the store to change its name after over 40 years of business has shocked many, most complaining that the 32 in the name ‘makes no sense.’ Yet, the un-descriptive name was purposeful, as Jerel Golub, the CEO of Price Chopper, who has led the revamp. To him, the name removes expectations bound by their former name and opens up the company to evolve its offerings.
Market 32 is also rooted in the company’s history, as the grocery chain’s founders and owners, the Golub family, entered the grocery business in 1932 with their first Schenectady store, where the company base remains.
“Key elements of the savings platform” of Price Chopper stores such as their AdvantEdge card savings program, coupons and brand products will remain the same.
“We have evolved from the Public Service Market to Central Market to Price Chopper by responding to customers’ changing needs over time and Market 32 is the next natural progression for us,” Neil Golub, Price Chopper’s executive chairman of the board, said in a statement which noted that the company underwent a similar name change in their history in when Central Market became Price Chopper in 1974.
Price Chopper officials have said they did not originally set out to change the name, but determination was made as they planned their chain-wide revamp.
The name change comes as a likely response to increased competition moving into the Capital District. ShopRite, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have all moved in within the past five years.
Traditional grocery stores have also lost business to super retailers Wal-Mart and Target, as they’ve intergrated grocery goods into their storefronts recently to larger players like Wal-Mart and Target, recently.
Though the verdict is still out on whether the name change will be successful, the new brand holds similarities to one made by Hannaford in 1997, when the company changed the name of its New York stores from Shop ‘n Save before taking over several former Grand Union supermarkets.