Report: Tops Friendly Markets allegedly filing for bankruptcy

Tops on Syracuse's North Side (CNYCentral File Photo)

A recent report from Bloomberg states that the owners of Tops Friendly Markets, as well as Winn-Dixie, are preparing to file for bankruptcy.

A statement released by the Union President Frank DeRiso representing Tops Friendly Markets said the chain is still paying all contractual obligations including pension, health and 401K contributions. According to DeRiso, they are continuing to monitor the situation daily and will keep their members informed.

The report states that the owner of Tops Friendly Markets could potentially seek court protection from creditors as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the situation.

DeRiso said over the past several months they have been meeting with financial advisors to monitor the chains financial situation and that a private investment firm was hired to help them restructure their enormous debt.

The Tops franchise came out of Niagara Falls by Ferrante Castellani in the 1920s, according to the company's website. Castellani opened his first grocery store there and following generations created the Tops chain in 1962.

The company is currently headquartered in Williamsville, in Erie County, and has store locations in New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

Last November, Tops began offering online shopping and same-day home delivery services in its Syracuse-area locations and around the Northeast.

Meanwhile, Bi-Lo LLC, the company behind the Winn-Dixie chain, is reportedly preparing for a bankruptcy filing as soon as March.

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