PERMISSION GRANTED: Tops will close underperforming stores after court decision

A bankruptcy judge has given a local grocery chain the green light to close ‘unprofitable stores’ in the coming weeks.

It’s not clear what Tops locations might close — but Judge Robert Drain of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York approved the request of Tops to close unprofitable stores and to hold store closing sales before shutting them down.

The court filings from April indicate that most of the stores in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania are profitable — even featuring strong sales and sustainable cost structures. However, the filings noted that there were a few that have ‘consistently underperformed’ and asked the court for approval to close them as it sees fit.

“On May 10, Tops’ motion outlining procedures when filing store closings was approved by the court, allowing Tops to close any underperforming stores should the supermarket chain decide to do so in the future,” the company said in a statement Monday. “No timetable nor decisions about store closings have been made.”

Tops filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Feb. 21. It has reported having more than $720 million in debt. The company operates more than a dozen stores in the Finger Lakes area.


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