Tops Markets to Sell 31 Stores in Eastern New York/Adirondack Region

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tops Markets, LLC here said yesterday it is seeking buyers for its 31 stores located in eastern New York and the Adirondack region, as the Ahold unit and division of Giant of Carlisle, Pa., focuses on its core markets in western New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Tops said it has reached agreement to sell six of the 31 stores to Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper. The closing of the transaction is expected early in the fourth quarter. The remaining 25 stores will continue to operate until buyers can be found.

Tops will reinvest the capital raised from the transactions for updates to the company’s new prototype, Martin's Super Food Stores, which debuted last year in western New York, spokesman Denny Hopkins told Progressive Grocer.

The first Martin's Super Food Store opened last September in Perinton, N.Y., followed by a store in Amherst, N.Y., early this year. Both stores feature a brand new décor package, as well as Nature's Choice Natural and Organic Marketplaces. The Amherst store has additional amenities, including a one-hour photo department and a store-within-a-store featuring electronics, Hopkins said.

Tops announced last month that it's converting a Tops store in Batavia, N.Y. to the Martin's banner, while constructing new Martin's units in Dunkirk and Derby, N.Y. The stores are expected to open in the fall.

The retailer recently redefined its core New York markets as those west of I-81 in New York state, through to the state's western border.

Tops Markets currently operates 152 Tops Markets and two Martin's Super Food Stores in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Tops is one of upstate New York's largest supermarket chains.

-- Jenny McTaggart
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