Exploring the Geographic Reach of Tops Supermarkets: Are They Exclusive to New York?

Tops Supermarkets have been a staple in the New York grocery scene for decades, known for their high-quality products and exceptional customer service. But are they exclusive to the Big Apple? In this article, we’ll explore the geographic reach of Tops Supermarkets and whether they are limited to New York State. From their humble beginnings to their expansion throughout the Northeast, we’ll uncover the truth behind this supermarket giant and whether they truly are exclusive to the Empire State. So, let’s dive in and find out if Tops is just a New York thing, or if they’re a staple in grocery stores across the country.

Quick Answer:
Tops Supermarkets is a grocery store chain that operates primarily in upstate New York and Vermont. While the company is headquartered in Williamsville, New York, its stores are not exclusive to New York state. In fact, Tops Supermarkets has locations in several other states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Additionally, the company has expanded its reach through acquisitions and partnerships, including the purchase of Hannaford stores in Maine and the establishment of a partnership with ShopRite to operate stores in New York and New Jersey. Therefore, while Tops Supermarkets has a strong presence in upstate New York, it is not limited to that region and has a wider geographic reach.

Understanding Tops Supermarkets

History and Overview

Tops Markets, LLC was established in 1918, with its founding location in Buffalo, New York. Over the years, Tops Supermarkets has grown and expanded across New York State, becoming a prominent player in the grocery retail industry.

Types of Stores

Tops Supermarkets offers a variety of store formats to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. These include:

  • Supermarkets: These full-service grocery stores offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, dairy, and household essentials. They also feature in-store pharmacies and offer a variety of services such as deli, bakery, and prepared foods sections.
  • Discount stores: These smaller stores are designed to provide customers with quick access to everyday essentials at discounted prices. They typically offer a limited selection of products, focusing on convenience and value.
  • Pharmacies: Tops Supermarkets also operate standalone pharmacies, providing prescription medication services, over-the-counter medications, and health and wellness products. These pharmacies are located within select supermarkets and discount stores, making it convenient for customers to access these services while shopping for groceries.

Tops Supermarkets Outside of New York State

Key takeaway: Tops Supermarkets, founded in 1917 in Buffalo, New York, has grown to become a prominent player in the grocery retail industry. While it is widely perceived as a regional brand exclusive to New York, Tops Supermarkets has a presence in five other states. To remain competitive, Tops must continue to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the rise of online grocery delivery services. The company is investing in store remodels, expanding its digital and e-commerce offerings, and focusing on offering a wider variety of healthy and organic products to meet the growing demand for these options.

Locations in Other States

Tops Supermarkets has a presence in several other states outside of New York. In Pennsylvania, the company operates numerous stores in cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Scranton. In Massachusetts, Tops Supermarkets can be found in communities like Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. Vermont residents can shop at Tops Markets in Burlington, South Burlington, and Essex. New Hampshire also has a number of Tops Supermarkets in cities like Manchester, Concord, and Nashua.

Maryland and Virginia

Tops Supermarkets made a significant expansion into the Maryland and Virginia markets in 2018 with the acquisition of 10 Food Lion stores. Following the acquisition, the stores were re-branded as Tops Markets, allowing the company to establish a stronger foothold in these states. This strategic move allowed Tops Supermarkets to tap into new customer bases and expand its reach beyond its traditional New York markets.

The New York Connection

Roots in Upstate New York

  • Tops Supermarkets was founded in 1917 in Williamsville, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.
  • The company’s headquarters still remain in Williamsville, making it a significant presence in Upstate New York.
  • Tops Supermarkets has been a family-owned business since its inception, which has allowed it to maintain a strong connection to the communities it serves.

Majority of stores located in Western New York

  • Tops Supermarkets has a significant presence in Western New York, with the majority of its stores located in the region.
  • The company’s stores can be found in counties such as Erie, Niagara, and Cattaraugus, among others.
  • This strong presence in Western New York has allowed Tops Supermarkets to become an integral part of the local economy and community.

Supporting Local Communities

  • Tops Supermarkets is committed to supporting the local communities it serves.
  • The company is involved in various local events and sponsorships, which helps to promote and support local organizations and initiatives.
  • Tops Supermarkets also supports local farmers and suppliers, which helps to keep money within the local economy and supports the growth of small businesses.

Overall, Tops Supermarkets has a strong connection to the state of New York, particularly Upstate New York, where the majority of its stores are located. The company’s roots in the region, coupled with its commitment to supporting local communities, has allowed it to become an integral part of the local economy and culture.

Expansion and Competition

Expansion Plans

  • Potential for growth in neighboring states: Tops Supermarkets has shown a keen interest in expanding its presence beyond New York state. The company has identified several neighboring states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as potential markets for growth. This expansion strategy aims to increase brand visibility and capture a larger customer base.
  • Acquisition of new stores: Tops Supermarkets has been actively acquiring new stores to expand its footprint. In recent years, the company has acquired several stores from other supermarket chains, allowing it to enter new markets and increase its overall market share.

Competition with Other Supermarket Chains

  • Wegmans: Wegmans is a popular supermarket chain that operates in several states, including New York. While Tops Supermarkets has a strong presence in upstate New York, Wegmans has a wider reach across the state. Wegmans’ success can be attributed to its focus on customer service, high-quality products, and innovative store designs.
  • Tesco (Fry’s Food and Drug): Tesco, a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in the UK, acquired Fry’s Food and Drug in 2013. Fry’s operates in Arizona, and this acquisition expanded Tesco’s presence in the United States. Although Tops Supermarkets does not directly compete with Fry’s, the presence of a major international player like Tesco in the US grocery market should not be overlooked.
  • Walmart: Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has a significant presence in the grocery market. The company operates numerous stores across the United States, including New York. Walmart’s low prices and extensive product range pose a significant challenge to Tops Supermarkets, as it attracts price-conscious customers who may otherwise shop at Tops. To remain competitive, Tops Supermarkets must continue to differentiate itself from its competitors by offering unique products, services, and shopping experiences.

Perception and Reality: Are Tops Supermarkets Exclusive to New York?

Public Perception

  • Tops Supermarkets have been widely perceived as a regional brand that is exclusive to New York State.
  • This perception has been shaped by the company’s strong presence in upstate New York and the surrounding areas.
  • As a result, many people assume that Tops is only found in New York and not in other states.


  • However, the reality is that Tops Supermarkets have a presence in five states outside of New York.
  • These states include Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
  • Tops also has a strong presence in its home state of New York, with over 160 locations across the state.
  • Despite this, the company has managed to maintain a strong regional identity, which has contributed to the perception that it is exclusive to New York.
  • This regional identity is rooted in the company’s history and its focus on serving the communities in which it operates.
  • Tops has been a fixture in upstate New York for over 160 years, and its stores are often seen as a symbol of the region’s identity.
  • However, this strong regional identity has also made it difficult for Tops to expand beyond its home state, contributing to the perception that it is exclusive to New York.
  • Nevertheless, Tops has continued to grow and expand its reach, both within New York State and beyond.
  • The company’s success in maintaining a strong regional identity while also expanding its reach is a testament to its resilience and adaptability.

The Future of Tops Supermarkets

Challenges and Opportunities

Tops Supermarkets, with its headquarters in New York, faces a range of challenges and opportunities in the future. The emergence of online grocery delivery services, such as Amazon Fresh and Instacart, poses a significant threat to the traditional brick-and-mortar supermarket model. To compete with these services, Tops must offer convenience and competitive pricing while maintaining the in-store shopping experience that customers prefer.

Additionally, evolving consumer preferences towards healthier and more sustainable food options, as well as a growing demand for online shopping, present both challenges and opportunities for Tops. The company must adapt to these changes by offering a wider variety of healthy and organic products, as well as expanding its digital and e-commerce capabilities to meet the growing demand for online shopping.

Adapting to Meet Customer Needs

To adapt to the changing needs of its customers, Tops Supermarkets is taking several steps. First, the company is investing in store remodels and renovations to improve the in-store shopping experience and make it more convenient for customers. This includes updating the layout of the stores, adding more self-checkout lanes, and expanding the fresh produce and prepared food sections.

Second, Tops is expanding its digital and e-commerce offerings to make it easier for customers to shop online. This includes improving its website and mobile app, offering online ordering and delivery services, and partnering with third-party delivery platforms like Instacart and Shipt. By offering a seamless online shopping experience, Tops hopes to attract more customers and retain existing ones.

Finally, Tops is focusing on offering a wider variety of healthy and organic products to meet the growing demand for these options. This includes expanding its selection of gluten-free, non-GMO, and organic products, as well as offering more prepared foods made with whole ingredients. By catering to the changing tastes and preferences of its customers, Tops hopes to remain a relevant and profitable player in the supermarket industry.


1. Are Tops Supermarkets only located in New York State?


No, Tops Supermarkets are not exclusive to New York State. While they may have a strong presence in New York, Tops Supermarkets can also be found in other states throughout the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

2. How many Tops Supermarkets are there in New York State?

Tops Supermarkets has over 170 locations throughout New York State, making it one of the largest supermarket chains in the state. However, this number is still significantly lower than the number of locations operated by other major supermarket chains like Wegmans and Tesco.

3. Are Tops Supermarkets expanding beyond New York State?

While Tops Supermarkets has not announced any plans for expansion beyond New York State in recent years, the company has been expanding its presence in other northeastern states. In 2021, Tops Supermarkets acquired seven locations from the struggling Stop & Shop chain in Vermont, which brought its total number of stores in the state to eight. The company has also been rumored to be considering expansion into neighboring New England states like Massachusetts and Connecticut.

4. How does Tops Supermarkets compare to other supermarket chains in New York State?

Tops Supermarkets is one of the largest supermarket chains in New York State, but it faces stiff competition from other major players like Wegmans, Tesco, and ShopRite. While Tops Supermarkets has a strong presence in upstate New York, it may struggle to compete with the larger footprint and more diverse offerings of its competitors in more densely populated areas like the New York City metropolitan area.

5. Are Tops Supermarkets affiliated with any other supermarket chains?

Tops Supermarkets is not affiliated with any other supermarket chains. The company is a privately held business that has been family-owned and operated since its founding in 1917. While Tops Supermarkets has partnerships with various suppliers and vendors, it operates independently of any other supermarket chains.

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