🠈 Tops Market 🠊
Tops Friendly Market
Tops Friendly Markets is a chain of supermarkets primarily in the Northeast. Wikipedia reported that they had 179 stores and 16,000 employees with $2.5B in sales in 2015. In August 2018, Tops filed chapter 11. The site Tops Restructuring has the scoop on the event. They re-emerged from bankruptcy with 159 stores.
Armand Castellani's family immigrated from Italy in 1920 when he was three and started a grocery business. He served in WWII and returned home to start his own business.
The acquisition history is interesting as the stores include remains of huge chains like Grand Union and Penn Traffic.
- 1951: Armand Castellani opened Great Bear Market in Niagara Falls.
- He partnered with he partnered Thomas Buscaglia of T.A. Buscaglia Equipment Co. in a cooperative to help others start stores.
- 1958: The group formed Niagara Frontier Services based in Buffalo, NY.
- 1962: NFS created Tops Friendly Markets as a franchise system for supermarkets based in Worcester, Massachusetts. They used the brand B-Kwik for smaller stores.
- 1968: NSF went public on the American Stock Exchange.
- 1983: An investment group called SB Investors acquired NFS which had 65 Tops stores, 50 Wilson Farms stores and 15 B-Kwik Food Stores. They had 7,000 associates.
- 1984: Tops opened CarryOut Café.
- 1985: Tops went public on the NASDAQ.
- 1987: The Private equity firm Riordan, Freeman & Spogli acquired Tops.
- 1991: A firm called Ahold, based in the Netherlands, acquired Tops. Ahold also owned Stop and Shop, Finast and Edwards Super Food Store.
- 1996: Ahold merged several Finast stores with Tops
- 2000: Tops acquired the 87 store Sugarcreek Stores which is put under the Wilson Farms brand.
- 2001: Tops acquired 22 former Grand Union stores during its bankruptcy.
- 2001: Tops launched Tops Xpress.
- 2003: Ahold had an accounting scandal. They were overstating earnings causing Tops to shed its convenience stores and other select stores.
- 2004: Tops launched the brand Martin's Super Food Store.
- 2007: Morgan Stanley Private Equity bought Tops from Ahold for $310 million. The deal involved 72 stores and involved rebranding.
- 2009: Tops acquired Penn Traffic Company which had gone bankrupt.
History of Penn Traffic
- 1854 Penn Traffic started in Johnstown, Pennsylvania providing food for stagecoaches.
- They expanded into general merchandise.
- 1962: Penn started the Bi-Lo chain in Pennsylvania.
- 1979: Penn acquired Quality Markets which were founded in Jamestown, New York in 1914.
- Penn sold its department stores to Crown American Corporation.
- 1987: Miller, Tabak, Hirsch & Company took Penn private.
- 1988: they raised $25m in an IPO.
- 1988: Penn acquired P&C Foods of Syracuse, NY.
- 1989: Penn Big Bear Stores out of Ohio in a $341 million deal.
- 1999: Penn restructured with a bond buyback.
- 2003: Penn filed chapter 11 and sold the Big Bear in the process.
- 2007: former executives of Penn Traffic were charged with fraud.
- 2008: Penn closed the Penny Curtiss bakeries.
- 2011: Tops acquired Furnal's Fresh Market in Hilton, New York.
- 2012: Tops acquired Grand Union from C&S Wholesale Grocers
History of Grand Union
Grand Union was a chain of large supermarkets.
- 1872: Cyrus, Frank, and Charles Jones founded the Jones Brothers Tea Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
- They built a headquarters in Brooklyn which was known as the Grand Union Tea Company.
- 1916: Company incorporated as Jones Brothers Tea Co..
- 192?: Company acquired Progressive Grocery Stores.
- 192?: Company acquired Union Pacific Tea Co.
- 192?: company acquired Glenwood.
- 1928: Company acquired Oneida County Creameries Co.
- 1928: Jones Bothers reincorporated with the brand Grand Union.
- 1931: The company had 708 small stores with $31 million in sales. In the 1940s, they reduced the number of stores but increased the size.
- 1956: Grand Union opened a discount superstore called Grand Way in Keansburg, New Jersey.
- 197?: Grand Union began divesting the super stores.
- 1973: The British firm Cavenham Ltd. owned by Sir James Goldsmith acquired the firm. They shed Grand Way, Stop & Save Trading Stamp, etc.
- 1978: Grand Union acquired Big Star Markets which owned Colonial Stores.
- 1979: Grand Union created Food Market which focused on groceries.
- 1981: Grand Union acquired with J. Weingarten Inc. which had 107 stores.
- 1982: The rapid mergers brought them to 856 stores. Heavy debt forced them to shed down to 671 supermarkets.
- 1988: Harris Teeter acquired the Big Star chain that had 52 stores.
- 1989: An investors group headed by Salomon Brothers Inc. and Miller Tabak Hirsch & Company bought Grand Union for $1.2 billion. It was the 11th largest supermarket in the US. The merger added $325 million high yield debt and $545 million in bank loans to the ledger.
- 1993: Grand Union sold 48 of its 51 Big Star stores to A&P for $20-$25 million in cash.
- 1995: Grand Union filed Chapter 11.
- 1995: Grand Union re-emerged from bankruptcy as a public traded firm on the NASDAQ with 231 stores.
- 1996: A preferred stock sale of $100M gave control to Shamrock Capital, which had money from Disney and GE Pension.
- 1998: Grand Union filed chapter 11 for the second time. It arranged a final round of financing and re-emerged.
- 2000: Grand Union entered Chapter 7 bankruptcy with primary assets going to its creditor C&S Wholesale. Tops Market acquired 22 stores.
- 2002: Grand Union had an employee theft problem. Notably, Don Vaillancourt was convicted of embezzling over $2 million.
- 2012: Tops Market bought the remaining shell of Grand Union..
- 2012-2015 Tops acquired nine Big M supermarkets New York State in a string of deals.
- 2013: Tops managers bought ownership back from Morgan Stanley.
- 2014: Tops acquired Budwey's supermarket in Newfane, New York.
- 2015 Tops acquired Struppler Shurfine in Fulton, NY.
- 2018: Tops filed Chapter 11.
- 2018: Tops reduced debt by $445 million, settled a labor dispute and closed 10 stores and emerged from bankruptcy with 159 locations.
- Wikipedia - Tops Friendly Markets (Drawn 9/17/2018)
- Funding Universe - Grand Union (Drawn 9/17/2018)
- Supermarket News - Tops Files Bankruptcy (Drawn 9/17/2018)
- WKBW - Tops Emerges from Chapter 11 (Drawn 1/3/2019)
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