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Tops buying Grand Union, again

— Name game

In 2001, the original Grand Union supermarket company sold 20 of its North Country stores to Tops during Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The 20 stores involved in the 2001 sale were: North Creek, Indian Lake, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Willsboro, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Keeseville, two in Saranac Lake, Whitehall, Champlain, Elizabethtown, Au Sable Forks, Chestertown, Bolton Landing, Schroon Lake, Warrensburg, Peru and Hamilton. Only 10 of these stores are part of the 2012 sale. While the announcement was made in February 2001, they made the transition to Tops on March 6, 2001.

In 2005, Tops sold the following 12 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, which called them Grand Union Friendly Markets: Elizabethtown, Au Sable Forks, two in Saranac Lake, Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Schroon Lake, Warrensburg, North Creek, Peru, Corinth and Hamilton.

Only 11 of these stores are part of the 2012 sale; faced with stiff competition from Price Chopper, the Hamilton Grand Union closed in 2009. Some stores, like the one in Tupper Lake, were sold (to Price Chopper), and others were simply closed, such as the one in Lake Placid. Tops announced in July 2005 that it was seeking buyers for 31 stores in New York, including the 20 North Country stores it bought from Grand Union in 2001. The sale was made in October 2005, and they made the transition to the 12 Grand Union stores on Feb. 13, 2006.

During its latest transition, Tops plans to offer employment to the approximately 600 employees at all 21 stores without any interruption in service upon closing of the sale.

The purchase is subject to customary closing conditions. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville and operates 132 full-service supermarkets — 127 company-owned and five franchise locations. With more than 14,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at www.topsmarkets.com.

(Andy Flynn contributed to this story.)

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