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Tops Buys Three Big M Stores

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Tops Friendly Markets here said Thursday it has agreed to acquire three Big M supermarkets in upstate New York. Terms were not disclosed.

The stores, located in Elbridge, Mexico and Jordan, N.Y., were owned by brothers Michael and Joe Farrugia, who are retaining one other Big M store in Seneca Knolls, N.Y., Michael Farrugia told SN.

“At this point, it’s too early to retire, but you can’t always choose the timing of these things,” he said.

Big M is a buying group of independent operators in New York and Pennsylvania that purchase through C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., which also supplies Tops. The Big M stores previously had been licensed and supplied by Penn Traffic, the Syracuse-based operator that dissolved through bankruptcy in 2010, selling many of its corporate stores to Tops.

The purchase of the three Big M locations — scheduled to close by year-end — marks the third acquisition this year for Tops and will expand Tops’ footprint further into areas of northern and central New York State. It follows the 2010 acquisition of the Penn Traffic stores and 2012 acquisitions of 21 Grand Union stores in New York and Vermont and another store in North Boston, N.Y.

Read more: Tops Buys 21 Stores from C&S

“We are excited about this growth opportunity for Tops, as we bring these new stores into the Tops family,” said Frank Curci, Tops Markets’ president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “These stores are a natural addition to our current footprint and we look forward to meeting the needs of our new neighbors and customers, providing them with a positive shopping experience that focuses on variety, freshness, convenience and exceptional value.”

Tops said it would continue to operate the stores without interruption after the puchase is completed, and that it would offer employment to all 161 workers at the stores.

“We fell that the addition of Tops Markets will enhance the ability for future employment as well as the capacity to upgrade these stores to the benefit of these communities for years to come,” Farrugia said in a statement.

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