Stop & Shop to Host 75 Citizens Bank Branches in NY Units

QUINCY, Mass. -- As part of an exclusive in-store partnership agreement with Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Financial Group, Inc., the second-largest in-store bank in the country, Stop & Shop Supermarkets here will house 75 new branches in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City areas of New York.

"We've always prided ourselves on one-stop shopping, and in-store banking is an important part of that," said Stop & Shop e.v.p. of operations Bill Cummings in a statement.

The partnership marks Citizens Financial Groups' initial foray into New York City and Long Island. Within New York State, the expansion will increase the number of Citizens Bank branches by about one-third, bringing the number of in-store and traditional locations to about 280 and giving Citizens a presence from the tip of Long Island to Buffalo.

Citizens will test a new design with the Stop & Shop branches, featuring what Citizens calls "a more inviting space, which communicates to the customer that full service banking is available." The branches will also include offices designed to offer greater privacy for account openings, applying for a loan or mortgage, discussing investment opportunities, or meeting with a banking officer.

Citizens in-store branches will start opening at Stop & Shop locations on Long Island and in New York City in December; and within the next three years 40 branches will open in Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties and eight in the New York boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Additionally, 27 branches will be rolled out at Stop & Shop locations in the Hudson Valley, among them Westchester and Rockland counties. Citizens will also run a new support center on Long Island, which is scheduled to open in 2007.

Stop & Shop operates 365 stores throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.

Citizens Bank and Charter One operate more than 520 in-store branches throughout the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens already runs 125 in-store banks in Stop & Shops in New England -- 98 branches in Massachusetts, 23 branches in Rhode Island and four branches in New Hampshire. The in-store branches offer extended hours during the week, on weekends, and on most holidays.
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