Could $723 million in debt affect the future of Tops Markets? The locally owned supermarket chain is now seeking advice on how to handle its debt load.
While Tops Markets did not address the financial issues, the company did issue the following statement:
"While we normally don't comment on rumors, we have ample resources to meet our needs and it is business as usual for all of us at Tops. We look forward to welcoming shoppers who are stocking up for the Super Bowl."
Tops operates 169 full-service supermarkets along with an additional five supermarkets operated by franchises under the Tops banner. The supermarket chain employs over 15,000 people.
Hear from Jim Fink, Business First of Buffalo reporter, who covers the WNY retail industry on a regular basis.
The entire grocery industry in now going through a major evolution It is in response to what UB Professor Arun Lakshmanan, at the Jacobs School of Management, calls the "click and mortar" effect. Customers are turning to online ordering of food and there is a greater emphasis on healthy foods. The end results of this change are still unknown, said Professor Lakshmanan, but it is having an effect on weekly shopping habits and how grocery stores have to plan for their future.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.