Tops files for bankruptcy, says stores will stay open

Saranac Lake’s Tops supermarket at 156 Church St., seen Monday, replaced the old Grand Union. (Enterprise photo — Glynis Hart)

SARANAC LAKE — Tops Markets announced Wednesday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Chapter 11 is a section of U.S. bankruptcy law which permits a business to stay open while paying its debts.

According to a press release from Tops Markets LLC, based in Williamsville near Buffalo, “Tops stores across Upstate New York, Northern Pennsylvania and Vermont are continuing to serve customers with no impact on day-to-day operations.

“The company fully expects operations to continue as normal throughout this financial restructuring process.”

CEO Frank Curci said the company was working cooperatively with its creditors.

“We believe the financing we received from our noteholders is a vote of confidence in our business,” he said. “We expect to substantially reduce our debt and achieve long-term financial flexibility.”

According to the press release, Tops has received an asset-based revolving loan from Bank of America and a commitment for loan financing from some of its creditors. It expects to receive court approval for its restructuring requests and to continue paying employee benefits and wages without interruption.

Curci thanked the 14,262 Tops employees, as well as the grocery chain’s customers for their support.

In the Adirondacks, Tops operates two supermarkets in Saranac Lake, on Church street and Lake Flower Avenue, plus stores in AuSable Forks, Elizabethtown, Schroon Lake, Chestertown, North Creek, Bolton Landing, Warrensburg and Northville.

COMMENTS