Since news last week that additional Tops Friendly Markets stores were getting refreshed, with plans to eventually remodel most locations many readers from around the Finger Lakes and Central New York reached out with one question.
When will the store in my town get remodeled?
It’s an important question, since grocery store options have dwindled, as non-chain grocers struggle to keep their businesses alive.
We reached out to Kathleen Sautter, director of corporate communications and public relations for Tops Friendly Markets to learn more about those plans.
Several Tops stores in the region have already been remodeled. Since 2021, stores located in Ontario, Canandaigua, Penfield, Brighton, Gates, and two in the city of Rochester have been remodeled. There’s also the relatively new location in Farmington, which was transitioned from Wades to Tops.
There are a number of other locations in the region that, according to FingerLakes1.com readers, could use some upgrades.
Tops operates stores in Auburn, Clifton Springs, Skaneateles, Elbridge, Penn Yan, Camillus, Walworth, Lansing, Waterloo, and Watkins Glen.
Several readers reached out about the Waterloo location, which is particularly dated and has shown serious wear-and-tear. Sautter confirmed that they are actively dealing with roof issues there. However, there are no immediate plans to remodel that location.
She noted that the landlord of the Waterloo store has replaced approximately two-thirds of the roof over the store, and working on weather conditions to complete the remaining portion.
Another question, given the visual appearance of the Waterloo location that was common, involved its future standing. If there aren’t any immediate plans to remodel the store – will it remain open?
The short answer is ‘yes’. Sautter confirmed that Tops plans to continue operating the Waterloo location and has “no plans to cease operations.”
As far as additional remodels at Tops stores across the Finger Lakes and Central New York that haven’t been updated yet – Sautter said plans are sorted out annually.
“Every year we evaluate our entire store profile for remodel opportunities,” Sautter explained. “Over the next 12 months we are working on some of our stores in Erie, Pennsylvania a few in Niagara Falls, and also Buffalo. As we look ahead – 2024 has us project to enhance stores in the Finger Lakes and Syracuse markets but details have not been finalized.”
So, for Tops shoppers in the region who hoped their store would be imminently remodeled after recent headlines about Rochester-area stores – the wait will be a little longer before anything is ironed out with certainty about aging stores in less populated parts of the region.