Tops talks about future of P&C stores

Tops Markets took over P&C earlier this year. Now, the company is unveiling its plans going forward.

The company is planning a two year $90 million capital improvement program. Some stores, like the P&C in Baldwinsville and the P&C on Nottingham Road, will have major renovations. Others will have smaller improvements. The name of all the stores will be changed to Tops.

Tops CEO and President Frank Curci met with reporters Friday morning, and says there will be other changes too. "A better store, a better employee base, better prices, and a better ad, more freshness, and more variety," says Curci.

Frequent shoppers at the P&C on Nottingham Road said they like what they've seen so far. "I see a lot more produce and it's very good shopping," says shopper Shirley McIntosh.

"I think it's changing for the better if anything, definitely not for the worse, so I'm excited to see the change," says Wanney Dessources, who shops at P&C about once a week.

As for the workers, Curci acknowledges it's been a tough few months for them, since Tops decided to close 13 stores. He says the company has not planned any more layoffs.

"Well they've been through a lot, these poor people. They had an uncertain future. They didn't know whether their store was going to be bought, whether it was going to be retained, you know, what we were going to put into them. So, they've been through enough, but everybody knows what their future is now," said Curci. "Now they know they're with a company that has a future, that's put money into their stores, that has a plan for them going forward, so I think in general people are pretty happy," he says.

The renovation projects are expected to be finished by the end of the year. C urci says the plan is designed to increase sales, and if that happens, the company may be able to hire some more employees.

Tops acquired 79 supermarkets from the bankrupt Penn Traffic Company, though some have since been closed or sold to Price Chopper.