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    Tops Readies to Launch Orchard Fresh Concept Store

    Small format, fresh-focused store expected to open in early spring

    Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets, LLC will launch a small format, fresh-focused concept store -- Orchard Fresh – which will be located in the upscale southeast Buffalo, N.Y., suburb of Orchard Park, and could set the groundwork for a new template of expansion for the region’s largest supermarket chain.

    As the first new retail concept launch since a Morgan Stanley investment group in 2008 acquired the 153-store regional retailer – which operates 148 corporate stores and five franchise locations under the Tops, Grand Union and Bryant's banners – Frank Curci, president and CEO, told Buffalo Business First late last year that the company is investing as much as $4 million in the Orchard Fresh pilot store, which will reportedly open in early spring.

    The community of Orchard Park serves as the home of the Buffalo Bills, several private colleges and a number of local, regional, and global financial institutions and is said to be the ideal setting for Tops’ new concept store.

    The store will occupy 30,000 square feet in the North Buffalo Road plaza owned by Benderson Development Co., according to Buffalo Business First. “We are very high on the Orchard Park site,” Curci told the local business journal. “It is the right-sized space in the right area.”

    The store is expected to employ between 70 and 80 full- and part-time staff and will feature restaurant-quality meals, including wood-oven pizzas and other fresh meals and fresh and specialty foods.

    The company recently opened a new 28,000-square-foot Tops Friendly Market location in Syracuse, which offers many conveniences and internal and external amenities. The new Syracuse Tops store boasts a full-service deli, bakery, meat and seafood departments, dairy and frozen food departments, as well as Tops’ Carry Out Café that features an array of prepared foods as well as an eat-in dining area. The store also features a full-service pharmacy and a new interior décor package.

    With more than 15,000 associates, Tops Markets LLC operates stores in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont.

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