buckguy wrote: ↑September 26th, 2021, 1:01 pm
I was in Vermont, the Adirondacks and then Western NY recently. Tops has an odd collection of stores--tiny stores in small town locations like Saranac Lake and Au Sable Forks that were mostly were once Grand Union. They sold some larger stores (including one in Saranac Lake!) to others including Hannaford and Price Chopper and some smaller ones went back to Grand Union for awhile. It will be interesting to see what happens to these small stores (probably 10-15K sf). They also have substantial market share in Buffalo with modern, larger stores which may be the real attraction here. Tops in Erie probably always has been part of Buffalo operation. None of the old Cleveland chains ever entered the Erie market unless you count a short-lived and small presence from Kroger's Cleveland division. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are more natural connections and, in the past, Loblaw and Acme were there---Loblaw supplied stores in Ashtabula and Conneaut, Ohio from Buffalo and their successor Peter Schmitt supplied stores in the Cleveland area.
Actually, just about all the Tops in NY east of Cooperstown (that was a P&C) are, as far as I know, former Grand Unions (there are a couple in Dutchess County and South that they took over from S&S/Hannaford when those two merged, as they were too close in that small area).
They took over a bunch right after the chain went bankrupt, something occurred where they didn't pay or something (this was, I believe when Tops was connected to Ahold) and the wholesaler took them back (resigned as GU Family Markets), then finally Tops (now independent) bought them back about 10 years ago, but also got a few that were never Tops the first time (mostly from Albany area south into the Catskills).
In most of these places, they are the only store (unless others have moved in in the last 10 or so years), so it wouldn't be surprising if they stick around, unless someone else wants to come in, or they at some point want to enlarge/replace them.
The Saranac Lake was odd - as C&S the wholesaler only kept stores without competition (that's how, when they got the northern stores back the one in Lake Placid wound up as Hannaford, since there is also a Price Chopper there), but somehow they had both stores there in Saranac Lake, and only much more recently did Tops finally close the one (like 2 or 3 years back - both survived from GU to Tops back to GU back to Tops).