Big Y

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Big Y Foods, Inc.
PredecessorY Cash Market
Founded1936 in Chicopee, Massachusetts, US
FounderGerald and Paul D'Amour
Number of locations
Area served
Massachusetts and Connecticut
Key people
Charles D'Amour, President/CEO

Donald D'Amour, Chairman Emeritus
Michael D’Amour, COO

Theresa Jasmine, CFO
Revenue$1.7 billion (2015)
Number of employees
12,000 (2016)
Footnotes / references

Big Y Foods, Inc. (or Big Y) is an American, family-owned supermarket chain located in Massachusetts and Connecticut. It operates under the trade names "Big Y World Class Market" or "Big Y Supermarket."

In 1936, a young entrepreneur, Paul D'Amour, aided by his brother, Gerald, and sisters, Ann Marie, Yvette, and Gertrude, purchased the Y Cash Market in the Willimansett section of Chicopee, Massachusetts, at a Y-intersection. On December 12, 1936, the brothers began Y Cash Market, the forerunner of Big Y. The company is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. Big Y now is run by cousins Charles and Michael D'Amour.

Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, and it employs over 12,000 people. In 2005 Big Y was the 268th-largest private company in the United States, according to that year's Forbes magazine "500 Largest Private Companies" list.[2] Big Y is the fifth largest supermarket chain in New England after Quincy-based Stop & Shop, Scarborough-based Hannaford, and West Bridgewater–based Shaw's Supermarkets, and Tewksbury, Massachusetts based Market Basket. Big Y is the second largest in Southern New England after the aforementioned Stop & Shop.

Big Y Today[edit]

The Big Y in store Palmer, Massachusetts.
The Big Y store in Palmer, Massachusetts.

As of October 2020, Big Y operates 71 supermarkets in Massachusetts and Connecticut;[1][3] many of which are located in the metropolitan areas of Springfield, Worcester, Greater Boston, and Hartford. In addition to its traditional supermarkets, Big Y owns and operates two specialty markets: Table & Vine, a large specialty liquor and wine store in West Springfield; and the Fresh Acres Market, a concept mixing an open-air-style farmers' market with upscale food choices, in Springfield. Big Y also operated two standalone pharmacies in Springfield and Wilbraham before eventually folding them into the pharmacies located in its nearby stores. Between 2013 and 2020, Big Y opened eleven gas stations and convenience stores in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, under the name "Big Y Express." Most Big Y Express stores are located adjacent to, or nearby, a full-size Big Y supermarket.

Big Y's largest competitor throughout its trade area is Stop & Shop, based out of Quincy, and to a lesser extent Big Y also competes with Boston-based Shaw's and Schenectady, New York's Price Chopper supermarkets. In Connecticut, Big Y is now the second-largest supermarket chain by number of locations, with only Stop & Shop operating more Connecticut stores.

Unlike most supermarkets, whose sales run Sunday to Saturday, Big Y's sales week is Thursday to Wednesday, as most customers get paid on Thursdays.[citation needed]

In 2011, Big Y's 75th anniversary, plans included a gala and a sweepstakes for customers with a top prize of $75,000; the drawing was held at the Big E.

In 2012 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Big Y's Newtown location put up four large green and white ribbons on the outside of the store and were also selling ribbons, shirts, and other items to show their support to those who were lost.[citation needed]

In July 2016, it was announced that Big Y had entered into a purchase agreement with Ahold and Delhaize Group for eight Hannaford Brothers locations in Massachusetts as part of the divestiture of stores to gain clearance from the Federal Trade Commission for the impending Ahold/Delhaize merger.[4] The new stores, all converted from Hannaford, are located in Kingston, Quincy, Norwell, Milford, Norwood, West Peabody, Saugus, and Easton.[1] The addition of the eight new stores brought Big Y's store count in Massachusetts to 37, and increased its footprint in the state to extend from the Berkshires all the way to Greater Boston.

In January 2018, it was announced that current chairman and CEO Donald H. D'Amour will transition out of his day-to-day responsibilities in that role. His cousin, Charles L. D'Amour, has been appointed CEO and will also continue in his role as company president, a position he has held since 2006. Donald D'Amour, who was appointed CEO in 1980 and succeeded his father as chairman of the board in 1997, will continue to work as an adviser to the board as chairman emeritus. Michael D'Amour, Donald D'Amour's son, has been appointed COO.[citation needed]

Store locations and expansion[edit]

A map of all the locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts

Big Y focuses primarily on opening stores to strengthen its existing footprint, though that footprint is expanding slowly. Most Big Y stores are within a 75-mile radius of their Springfield headquarters. In 2010, Big Y announced that its new store plans included Lee, Franklin, and Milford, Massachusetts; according to its website, each town would have a store by 2012. The Lee store opened in November 2011, adding to Big Y's presence in the Berkshires; while the Franklin store opened in August 2012. The Franklin store is a sister location to Big Y's store in Walpole; those two had been Big Y's only stores in Greater Boston until 2016. Big Y also announced new stores in Foxborough and Holyoke, but plans for those locations were ultimately withdrawn. The original Milford plans also never came to fruition, but after the previously mentioned buyout of eight Hannaford stores, Big Y now operates the former Hannaford store in Milford.

In 2016, Big Y opened a Connecticut store in Shelton, bringing their store count in that state to 33. Big Y has also occasionally grown through acquisitions. In addition to the previously mentioned acquisition of eight former Hannaford stores, in late 2010 Big Y purchased seven stores from A&P, which was leaving central Connecticut. Four of these stores (Branford, Mystic, Old Lyme, and West Hartford) were renovated and re-opened as Big Y World Class Markets within a short period of time.

Big Y has stores near the New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont state lines, but expansion into these states has not yet been officially announced. Big Y is exploring venturing into Rhode Island in the near future.[when?][citation needed]

As of June 2017, the company operated 77 locations.[5]

On November 7, 2019, Big Y will be opening two new store locations in Milford, Connecticut and Derby, Connecticut.[6]

Business Service Locations Date Notes
Big Y Supermarket 70 1936–present Founded in 1936 as Y Cash Market
Table & Vine large specialty liquor and wine store 1 2002–present Also in select Big Y Supermarkets
Fresh Acres Market Supermarket 1 2006–present Formally a Big Y Supermarket
Big Y Express gas station 11 2013-present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Vaccaro, Adam (2016-09-28). "Springfield grocer Big Y takes a big step into Eastern Mass". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  2. ^ "# 268 Big Y Foods". "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  3. ^ "myBigY - Big Y® World Class Market®". Archived from the original on 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  4. ^ "Ahold and Delhaize Group reach agreements with buyers to divest 86 U.S. stores, subject to FTC merger clearance". Nasdaq. July 13, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Wilson to lead Big Y workforce management". Worcester, Massachusetts: 4 June 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  6. ^

External links[edit]