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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tops Markets has eliminated about 119 sales and marketing jobs, the Buffalo News reports. The reductions were announced early this year, but the bulk of the cuts are being completed this week, the company said Thursday.
Tops has shifted many of its jobs and functions to its sister chain, Giant of Carlisle, Pa. Both Tops and Giant are owned by Dutch retailer Royal Ahold.
The reductions complete the consolidation from a Tops-Giant plan outlined three years ago, said Stefanie Zakowicz, a Tops spokeswoman. In March and April, Tops began notifying employees who would be affected, to give them time to consider their options, Zakowicz said.
Nearly all of the workers who were affected were offered transfers to Giant-Carlisle, she said, but few of them accepted.
Apart from the 119 jobs that were cut, 21 Tops workers moved to other operations owned by Ahold. Fourteen of those 21 went to Giant-Carlisle, and some of the others took jobs in Tops stores. An additional 49 workers resigned from Tops during the four- to six-month period of advance notice, after they found jobs outside of Ahold, Zakowicz said.
Tops is providing employees who lost their jobs with severance packages, an extension of their health insurance through COBRA, and job-hunting help, she said.
"It's painful for everyone at Tops," she said. "You never like to see your co-workers leave or your organization downsized. It's no reflection on the way our associates work."
Three years ago, Tops had more than 860 people employed in corporate jobs. That number has declined through attrition, the Giant consolidation, and the sale of Tops' warehouses, according to the Buffalo News report.
In other news involving Tops, Joseph P. Dash, the president and owner of Dash Markets, claims Tops Markets failed to fulfill contract terms and caused his business millions of dollars in economic damages, according to the Buffalo News.
The Dash family formerly ran its B-Kwik Food Market stores as a Tops Markets franchisee. Now the Dashes and Tops have cut ties, and the Dash family's business is suing Tops.
Tops, in court documents, denies the allegations, according to the report.