BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tops Markets here said it would not convert any more of its supermarkets to the Martin's Super Food Store banner, but would continue to operate four of the five stores it has already converted as Martin's, a Tops spokeswoman told SN.
"Customers said they wanted their Tops back," said spokeswoman Tracy Pawelski. "It made a lot of sense in that it was completely surrounded by a lot of Tops."
The Martin's stores in Batavia, Derby, Dunkirk and Perinton "are all very successful stores" and will retain the Martin's name, Pawelski said. The stores were converted in 2004 and 2005 as part of an effort to revive the struggling Tops chain, which analysts have speculated may eventually be divested by its parent company, Amsterdam-based Ahold.
Tops is managed by Giant Food of Carlisle, Pa., which is also owned by Ahold and operates the Martin's Food Market banner in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia.
Tops said it would allow customers of its four remaining Martin's Super Food stores and its Tops stores to use their respective BonusCards at either chain.
Tops also said it would invest up to $60 million during the next two years in renovating its stores in its core market here, including $20 million this year to refurbish 11 stores and up to $40 million in 2007 to remodel 12-15 locations. Remodels will include new technology like handheld self-scanners and E-Z Weigh that had been rolled out at Martin's; updated bakery and deli departments featuring upscale desserts and made-to-order sandwiches; and an increased emphasis on health and wellness, including the introduction of Nature's Promise Marketplace, which offers Tops' own natural/organic brand, Nature's Promise, and other organic dairy, meat and produce products.
"Now that we have finished the reorganization of our operations throughout the Tops marketing area, we can turn our total focus on enhancing our operations in the Buffalo/Niagara region, which is the home of Tops," said Max T. Henderson, Tops' executive vice president and general manager, in a prepared statement.