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Tops reorganization plan approved, expects to emerge from bankruptcy soon

Tops Friendly Markets location on S. Salina Street in Syracuse that closed at the end of October (CNYCentral Photo)

Tops Friendly Markets expects to emerge from bankruptcy soon.

The grocery company announced Thursday that its plan for financial reorganization was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. They filed the plan back in August.

“We are pleased to receive the court’s approval of our plan and are poised to emerge from this process an even stronger and more competitive company,” said Frank Curci, Chief Executive Officer of Tops. “Through this process, we have accomplished several key objectives, including significantly reducing our debt, creating a viable cost structure and efficiently optimizing our store portfolio. Importantly, we provided an opportunity for employment to every associate who was interested and impacted by store closings at other nearby stores. Our restructuring will create an even more exceptional shopping experience for our customers and assure that we will continue to serve our communities like no one else can.”

Tops filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back on Feb. 21, citing a large debt load, falling food prices and a competitive market with Amazon and other retailers. The chain acknowledged at the time it faces tough competition from other local, regional and national supermarket outlets, as well as drug stores, discount stores, fast food chains and big box retailers.

RELATED | Documents: Tops cites large debts, Amazon for filing bankruptcy

Three Tops locations in central New York — two in the Syracuse area and one in Fulton — closed less than two weeks ago as part of the company's reorganization. A Tops location at 33 Forgham Street in Lyons, in Wayne County, also closed.

Though they were defined as underperforming stores, Tops has maintained that the majority of its stores generating positive raw earnings.

The grocery chain has been seeing significant improvement since the bankruptcy filing.

Tops has 170 stores across New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania. Around a dozen locations lie in the immediate Syracuse area and several others are scattered across central New York.

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