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Tops Markets undergo major renovations: Company plans big changes at all locations

Tops Friendly Markets has recently undergone a major transformation and is now Tops Remodeled Markets. The Williamsville-based grocer has invested significantly to modernize its 149 locations, with refurbishing completed in 31 stores in Western New York, including Canandaigua.

Most of the Tops stores are several decades old, and despite being functional, have aged out of being considered modern. The refurbishing efforts – both inside and outside the stores – are creating a new shopping experience for customers.

John Persons, Tops’ President, says that the investment is integral to attracting more customers and giving them what they want. The company’s management team toured various store brands across the country about five years ago to determine what other retailers were doing. They decided that the décor and colors needed to match modern tastes. The stores now feature darker tile flooring, large, vibrant signage on the walls, and LED lighting.

Persons says that the refurbishing is a total floor-to-ceiling remodel to provide a modern and comfortable look. The open floor plan provides more space, allowing for more product inventory along the walls, opening up the produce, deli, and bakery departments. There is also more emphasis on fresh items, with considerably more produce variety than before.

Shoppers will also notice similar changes in the prepared foods, seafood, and meat departments. Tops provides shelf space for three or four national brands, as well as their own label. According to Persons, customers like choices and certain brands.

The remodels have been costly, with Tops spending $120 million on the initiative so far. The Greece store cost $2.8 million, and the Canandaigua store cost $1.8 million. However, in-store traffic has increased since the refurbishing efforts began.