On July 2, the North Country’s Grand Union supermarkets began operating as Tops Friendly Markets once again. This is the store in Elizabethtown, as seen in 2012 before the switch.
Tops Friendly Markets officials July 2 officially unveiled 12 former Grand Union stores in eastern and northern New York under the Tops banner at grand re-opening ceremonies, including the one in North Creek.
The new Tops branded stores include stores in Saratoga, Warrensburg, Warren, Franklin, Essex, Clinton and Fulton counties. Participating in same-day celebration ceremonies at these stores were senior Tops company officials, district and store managers, and local community officials and charities. Ceremonies featured the announcement of capital improvements made at each store, as well as donations made on behalf of Tops to various local charities through the company’s “Living Here. Giving Here” community partnership program.
“The entire Tops team has worked very hard to that ensure our new store customers will have a more enjoyable shopping experience as they see the many changes in the setting, amenities and an increased variety of products that our neighborhood stores will offer,” said Frank Curci, Tops’ president and CEO. “And we want to continue the tradition of giving back and being active members of the local community.”
Store improvements vary by individual store, Curci said, but all provide a wider variety and selection of favorite brand products, interior and exterior renovations as well as refinished store fronts.
The 12 Grand Union stores were part of a 21-store acquisition that Tops entered into an agreement for in July 2012. The name change of the stores to Tops Friendly Markets was included in a rebranding effort announced in which all former Grand Union stores would be changed to Tops through the end of 2013.
The former Grand Union stores now operating under the Tops brand banner are located at: North Creek, Chestertown, Warrensburg, Bolton Landing, Schroon Lake, Corinth, Saranac Lake (156 Church St. and 622 Lake Flower Ave.), Elizabethtown, Peru, Au Sable Forks, and Northville.
Tops Friendly Markets announced a year ago — July 19, 2012 — it had entered into an agreement with Grand Union Markets LLC, to acquire 21 facilities located in upstate New York and Vermont (Hardwick, Northfield and Rutland).
Grand Union Markets LLC is an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Keene, N.H.
In 2001, the original Grand Union supermarket company sold 20 of its North Country stores to Tops during Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The 20 stores involved in the 2001 sale were: North Creek, Indian Lake, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Willsboro, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Keeseville, two in Saranac Lake, Whitehall, Champlain, Elizabethtown, Au Sable Forks, Chestertown, Bolton Landing, Schroon Lake, Warrensburg, Peru and Hamilton. Only 10 of these stores are part of the 2012 sale. While the announcement was made in February 2001, they made the transition to Tops on March 6, 2001.
In 2005, Tops sold the following 12 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, which called them Grand Union Friendly Markets: Elizabethtown, Au Sable Forks, two in Saranac Lake, Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Schroon Lake, Warrensburg, North Creek, Peru, Corinth and Hamilton.
Only 11 of these stores are part of the 2012 sale; faced with stiff competition from Price Chopper, the Hamilton Grand Union closed in 2009. Some stores, like the one in Tupper Lake, were sold (to Price Chopper), and others were simply closed, such as the one in Lake Placid. Tops announced in July 2005 that it was seeking buyers for 31 stores in New York, including the 20 North Country stores it bought from Grand Union in 2001. The sale was made in October 2005, and they made the transition to the 12 Grand Union stores on Feb. 13, 2006.
Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 159 full-service supermarkets – 154 company-owned and five franchise locations under the Tops, Grand Union and Bryant’s banners. With more than 15,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company’s website at www.topsmarkets.com.