Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Economy | By

Tops Friendly Markets planning for bankruptcy

Tops Friendly Markets planning for bankruptcy

Both bankruptcies would be "a sign of the mounting pressures in the grocery industry", according to Bloomberg.

Citing "people familiar with that situation", Bloomberg reported that, "with low margins and ample competition, the grocery business has always been challenging".

Winn-Dixie owner Bi-Lo is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a Bloomberg report. But now the industry is contending with a more aggressive push by big-box retailers and Inc., which acquired Whole Foods previous year to give it a larger brick-and-mortar presence.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the retailer is panning to shut down nearly 200 stories as part of the move. Bi-Lo is reportedly more than $1 billion in debt after being bought out by Lone Star Funds in 2005. The locations that will be closed have not been announced.

Tops is based in Williamsville, in the Buffalo area, and runs about 170 stores in the Northeast.

Buyouts first by Morgan Stanley followed by the own managers of the company, left Tops struggling under a heavy debt load, and the intense competition in the industry made it hard to offset such a burden through hiking prices.

Bi-Lo has not publicly confirmed any bankruptcy plans.

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