News Release
 June 1, 2009
CONTACT: Katie McKenna

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Tops Friendly Markets, the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania, today announced that the grocer has completed its 16-month transition to being completely locally operated.

Tops management and associates have been working since December 2007, when Tops was acquired by Morgan Stanley Private Equity, to bring all facets of Tops operations back to Western New York. Since the sale major operational functions such as marketing, merchandising, information technology and accounting have been managed via a shared services agreement with the former owner of Tops, which was necessary to providing a smooth transition. However, in order to operate independently rather than as part of a large international food conglomerate, it was necessary to separate these major operational functions from the former owners. As part of that effort, in March of 2008 Tops agreed to keep and expand its headquarters on Main Street in Williamsville.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of being locally operated,” said Frank Curci, CEO of Tops. “We live here, we know our customers and the products they want and service they need. Making those decisions locally is of the utmost importance so we can best serve our customers in Western New York, Central New York, Rochester, and in northwest Pennsylvania.”

With this transition, Tops has been able to hire more than 100 new associates at its headquarters along with creating several new executive and management positions. In addition, Curci said, Tops has been able to create new partnerships with dozens of local businesses to help the company through the transition and with its daily operations. Previously, many of those business partners were located hundreds of miles away.

Tops’ marketing and merchandising departments were also brought back and are being managed locally as well. Functions such as product selection, buying, pricing, placement, marketing and vendor relationship- building are now being handled at the company’s headquarters located in Williamsville, NY.

“With the transition complete and our management and associates in place, we are moving full-speed ahead to continue to meet our goal of giving our customers an easier and better shopping experience that focuses on value,” Curci added. “As the region’s largest grocer who provides the most variety and options, we strive everyday to meet every customer need and we will continue to do so.”

As part of the transition process, Tops associates, management and business partners worked to establish a new information technology infrastructure from which each of the 71 Tops stores and the headquarters operate. In addition, the company hired additional executives and management staff to oversee both the transition and Tops’ daily operations. Tops associates have spent the past several weeks monitoring the new infrastructure to ensure all systems are operating correctly.

“We can’t underestimate just how monumental this task has been for our executive staff, management and associates, and we cannot be more pleased with the success of this initiative and to proclaim that Tops is truly a locally operated company once again,” Curci said. “Essentially, we were tasked with transitioning our entire infrastructure and operation from a large conglomerate to an independent, freestanding operation without disrupting the customer experience and still allowing our associates to do their jobs effectively.”

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, N.Y. and operates 71 full-service supermarkets and five franchise supermarkets. With over 10,000 associates, Tops is the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's Web site at


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