PLATTSBURGH — Tops Friendly Markets plans to acquire 21 Grand Union supermarkets, including six in Essex and Clinton counties.
The deal includes two in Saranac Lake and stores in AuSable Forks, Elizabethtown, Peru and Schroon Lake.
ALL JOBS RETAINED
For the foreseeable future, 20 stores will be operated under their current Grand Union banner, and one store will continue under a Bryant’s banner.
About 600 associates are employed at these locations in all. Tops stated it will offer all of them jobs and will operate all 21 stores without any interruption in service upon closing the deal, which is expected to happen by this fall.
The purchase is subject to customary closing conditions, and specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
CRUCIAL TO COMMUNITY
Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said he wasn’t aware of the deal but was pleased to hear that the AuSable Forks store will remain open.
Having a grocery store is very important to the community, he said, not only for convenience for residents but as part of economic-development efforts.
“We are reaching out to new businesses to try to revitalize our Main Street,” he said.
Tops acquired the six stores and 14 others in the North Country from Grand Union in 2001. The company sold those stores and others back to Grand Union’s parent company, C&S Wholesale Grocers, in 2005.
Schroon Town Supervisor Mike Marnell said he doesn’t expect the latest change in ownership to have much effect on the town. He said that when Tops sold the stores, most of the employees were hired by Grand Union.
Marnell said Grand Union has been supportive of the community and charities, and he hopes Tops will be also.
“I look forward to them coming back. I wish them luck,” he said.
The acquisition will leave Tops with 153 stores and extend its market into northeastern New York and northern Vermont.
Tops Markets President and CEO Frank Curci said the company is excited about this growth opportunity, especially since the stores are a natural extension of its current footprint.
“We are looking forward to having these stores and the surrounding communities become part of the Tops family,” he said in a press release.
C&S Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Michael Newbold said they believe the transition makes excellent strategic sense for both organizations.
“It allows Tops to strengthen its retail network, while C&S will continue to focus on its core business of providing innovative supply and logistics solutions to its wholesale customers,” he said.
“C&S very much appreciates its deep partnership with Tops and looks forward to the second decade of our relationship.”
Tops’ Chief Operating Officer Kevin Darrington said the company plans to invest in the stores and surrounding communities after the deal closes “in an effort to best serve our associates and customers.
“We look forward to meeting the needs of our new neighbors and customers, providing them with a positive shopping experience that focuses on variety, freshness, convenience and exceptional value,” he said.
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