Big Y deal will affect Naugatuck A&P

Big Y Foods Inc. has entered an agreement to acquire seven A&P Supermarkets in Connecticut, including the A&P location in the Cross Pointe Plaza on Route 63 in Naugatuck, at 799 New Haven Road.

The transaction is expected to close by late October. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The seven locations will each be subjected to “full evaluations” over the next few weeks, and the company expects to reopen a number of them — but not necessarily all — as Big Y World Class Markets, the chain’s largest and most extensive store format, Charles L. D’Amour, the company’s president and chief operating officer, said Wednesday.

If the New Haven Road store is reopened, Big Y would have two stores in Naugatuck, including its existing location at 85 Bridge St.

The other A&P stores involved in the deal are in Branford, East Haven, Middletown, Mystic, Old Lyme and West Hartford.

All existing A&P employees will be offered the opportunity to interview for potential employment with Big Y, D’Amour said.

The company also plans to hold job fairs in the communities in which it will open new World Class Markets, he said.

“Clearly, we hope we can offer employment to as many of A&P’s well-trained employees as possible,” D’Amour said in a prepared statement. “As our business continues to grow, we need more and more skilled and knowledgeable people.”

Stores that will be reopened will be closed briefly for minor renovations, such as equipment, software and systems updates, and the installation of new signage, D’Amour said, and the new stores will be cleaned and painted before re-stocking.

The acquisition will give Big Y an opportunity to move into several “key Connecticut locations” that are a natural fit for the company because they fill in holes within its existing retail footprint, D’Amour said.

Headquartered in Springfield, Mass., Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. The family-owned company has 58 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including locations in Ansonia, Naugatuck, New Milford and Torrington. The company has more than 9,200 employees.

Big Y was founded in Chicopee, Mass., in 1936 when brothers Gerald and Paul D’Amour opened their first store. The stores and the company are named for a Chicopee intersection where two roads converge to form a “Y.”