Giant Food Markets of Broome County, New York
Giant Food Markets of Broome County, New York was a supermarket chain founded in 1933, by Metrie and George Akel in Binghamton, New York and was the first self-service supermarket in New York. The company used to operate twelve supermarkets in the Greater Binghamton area. Giant Markets sold their franchise to Weis Markets in August 2009.
All Giant Supermarkets featured an extremely bright fluorescent lighting system that stretches across the store. When the stores were built it is said that the proprietors of the market wanted a hospital type feel when shopping there.
On Thursday, May 21, 2009, Giant Markets was bought by Weis Markets. According to notices received by Giant associates, as of August 23, 2009 their employment will end at Giant Markets. Most of Giant's 1,100 employees are expected to have jobs at Weis.
On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, Giant Markets announced that it will be closing its store at 56 Main Street in Binghamton effective Saturday, August 15 at 6:00pm, one week prior to the takeover date. All associates at that store will be transferred to other Giant locations. The store closure is a decision made by Weis Markets as part of the buyout.
Price Chopper Lawsuit
The Price Chopper grocery store chain commenced a multi-million dollar suit against Binghamton Giant Market, Inc. for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. The Complaint, filed in the State Supreme Court in Schenectady on June 3, 2009, alleges that Giant Markets routinely obtained advance notice of the promotional items and prices that Price Chopper was advertising in the Sunday editions of the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin to gain unfair competitive advantage.
The Complaint alleges that Todd E. Hoover of Greene, New York, was arrested and charged by the police on April 1, 2009 when he was caught taking copies of the Price Chopper advertising flyers that had not yet been distributed to the public. According to the Complaint, surveillance tapes show that on approximately seven separate occasions, Hoover took copies of the flyers from a bottle storage closet at the Price Chopper Glenwood Avenue grocery store and stuffed them down his pants. The complaint further alleges that parking lot surveillance tapes show Hoover handing the flyers to David J. Cannistra of Binghamton on approximately six separate occasions. Price Chopper further alleges in the complaint that Cannistra would subsequently pass the flyers to August O. Kutchinski, director of operations for Giant Markets and a resident of Vestal, New York.
According to the Price Chopper suit, this arrangement constituted an ongoing conspiracy which occurred almost every Wednesday for at least six months, and permitted Giant Markets to learn what items and prices Price Chopper intended to promote in its Sunday advertisements.
The Price Chopper suit seeks compensatory damages of $5 million, recovery of the profits and gains that Giant allegedly obtained in the amount of $5 million and an additional amount of $10 million for punitive damages.