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Disappointment Looms as Fulton TOPS Prepares for Closing

FULTON, NY – Last month, news from TOPS chief executive officer detailed the locations of ten underperforming TOPS stores that are anticipated to be closed.

One of the stores is located in Fulton at 909 West First Street.

The closing was a result of multiple factors including “location, store size, and lease costs,” Diane Colgan, SVP – Marketing & Decision Support said.

Kathy Romanowski, TOPS Public and Media Relations Manager, said the store’s closing date is slated for Saturday, October 27.

For the Fulton community, that means yet another business loss.

“It’s sad to lose another business. My biggest sadness is for the employees. TOPS officials assured us that each employee will be offered a position at other TOPS but you just really never want to see a business have to close,” Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said.

Fulton saw an extensive loss of industry as several prominent businesses closed their doors throughout the city.

Most notably, Miller Brewing closed in 1994 putting 920 employees out of work, the Nestle factory shut its doors in 2003 outing 467 employees, Birds Eye Foods shut down in 2011 leaving 280 workers unemployed, the closing of A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in 2009 which promptly switched to a medical health facility ran by Oswego Health, and most recently, the closure of Michaud Residential Health Services that resulted in 139 jobs lost in 2017.

“This is in my district,” said Oswego County Legislator James Karasek. “Anytime we lose a business in Oswego County it is a loss to everyone. This store has some great employees and they would be an asset to other businesses in the area. This is yet another loss to the city of Fulton and the surrounding market area.”

Fulton Common Council president Donald Patrick Jr. said he and many other residents of the third ward, of which the store is located, were frequent TOPS shoppers.

“It’s just disheartening- it’s a shame to lose more jobs in Fulton and it’s sad to have another empty building. I hope someone comes in and utilizes the building, it’s in a good location,’ Patrick said.

At TOPS Fulton store location, 21 associates were at risk of losing their job.

Currently, all associates have been offered positions at other TOPS locations, Romanowski said.

27 Comments

  1. Businesses keep leaving and drug abuse is on the rise. It’s not like our city government didn’t see this coming. What are they doing about it? Not much it seems. No wonder good people and good businesses are leaving and drug addicts are allowed to wander the streets. The success and the failure of this city falls upon the Mayor. Let’s see if he takes action or continues to sit in his office and give us his worthless “5 Minutes”.

  2. Why would anyone want to start a business in the city of Fulton, a city without a future. Just drive around town and see how awful the city looks compared to other cities. Keeping property taxes high does not help anyone except the bureaucrats who are living off of the few left. I am glad I moved out years ago.

  3. The gentleman who owns save – a- lot in Fulton made several public warnings that this exact thing would happen within 6 months of Aldi’s coming to town. He stated the market could not support the additional store and that one would close. The neighborhood around TOPS will suffer the greatest as that store has sustained them for many years under different owners. We unintentionally/inadvertently shut down a US owned, NY based store for a German conglomerate. I am not sure we did the best thing for our residents, our state, or our country. The writing was on the wall and we were fully informed this would happen.

  4. If you’re going to report statistics it would bode well to make sure you do a thorough job. While Birdseye did close the property has been taken over by K&Ns Foods. The loss of jobs is there but not to the extent it’s being reported. Let’s paint the whole picture not just part of it. The City of Fulton could thrive but it will take a new administration to do it. Change effects change. Instead of sitting around bemoaning the loss of another business the city officials should be taking action, actively seeking new businesses, making attractive offers and yet they don’t. Sitting behind a desk or at a meeting will not get this done, sitting around complaining will not get this done. You want change, make it happen!! Fulton Block Builders is effecting change one home owner at a time. This group does not sit around talking about change, they make it happen. Building neighborhoods and relationships bringing neighborhoods back to what they used to be. Instead of the current administration telling us what the “can’t” do, how about they tell us what they can and will do!!!

  5. TOPS business was suffering company-wide and they were working on a restructuring plan that targeted under-performing stores (which included Fulton) before Aldis . . . .

  6. Angelo’s competed for years while stores moved in.
    Struppler’s competed for years while stores moved in.
    Tops couldn’t compete, plain and simple.
    Blaming competition for your own businesses’ shortcomings is the lazy man’s argument.
    Tops has a problem with how it is structured, period.

  7. TOPS business was suffering and yes its true they were looking for a restructuring plan before aldis but TOPS did close stores and the Fulton store was not one of them based on the original restructuring plan. Tops is doing another round of closings/restructuring after aldis and Fulton did not make the cut THIS time. So to say TOPS was restructuring before is partially true, it isn’t true that they had already planned to shut them down prior to aldis. Fulton TOPS survived the original closures you reference.They are shutting it down now because of even slower business. Obviously business has gotten even worse since the Aldis store has come.

  8. Also in Oswego . . . . Lowe’s comes to town and everyone cries Raby’s will close …. Burke’s will close Guess what happened, folks.

  9. 84 was another corporation that couldn’t compete. My point is that the local businesses managed to survive

  10. If Jim Mirabito had it , He could show u how to run that store and all the people who have used the store the last 50 plus years would use it like they have for years.

  11. Burkes is backed by a very large corporation. (do it best inc) They call themselves “the worlds largest hardware store”. Rabys is an Ace True value center. Again a national corporation. I am sorry Steve, but I know what you are trying to say but you just aren’t mentioning any locally owned companies to support your argument. In Fulton I might mention the old Metcalf supply, Fulton hardware, or Fulton builders supply as a local companies that couldn’t compete.

  12. Just wanted to add, the statistics listed are accurate based on what is being presented. Looking specifically at job loss and business closures, these are factual figures. K&N Foods opening in Fulton was unrelated to the closing of Birdseye. The loss of those jobs is not negated because a new business opened at a later date. Statistics on new businesses and job creation is not pertinent to the information provided here, though it is wonderful.

  13. The Mayor did the sweetheart deal to attract Aldi’s to his failed Nestle’s boondoggle. He cost the city an additional 300,000 dollars filling in the hole that Aldi’s foundation sets on, Aldi should have absorbed that cost. But the Mayor was afraid they would leave. Aldi’s profits don’t stay in the community nor the US. Tops profits would have and they pay workers more than Aldi’s I guanrantee you Aldi’s doesn’t employ as many as Tops did or pay them as much.

    The Mayor reminds me of the Cuomo deal with his attracting new business by giving them everything for 10 years tax free while those that they compete with struggle to stay alive. Liberal economics somebody else always pays the bill.

  14. re: writing on the wall…….Naturally Tops would lose “some” business with Aldi’s moving in. Just about any business does when a similar operation moves into an area, especially in a small one. Whether it’s a grocery store, a taxi cab service, another pizza shop, a restaurant, it makes no difference.

    Green’s in Oswego didn’t go out of business when Grant’s and Weston’s came to town, and neither did Wayne’s Drugstore when Fay’s Drug had two local locations. It all comes down to profitability in the end, and that’s a management problem to fix.

    If you are asking for local companies or stores that “couldn’t compete” in the area, I could probably list a few dozen in Oswego that couldn’t when Super Duper came along, essentially ridding just about every mom and pop corner store in town. Come to think about it, even MIMI’S in Oswego shut down while the Fulton location stayed open. Imagine that!

  15. re Wizard; thank you for making my point for me. “Super Duper came along, essentially ridding just about every mom and pop corner store in town” The difference here is that we were provided factual information supported by data, prior to aldis opening that it would have this exact effect. We traded one store for another under pressure to clean up Nestlé’s lot. The reality is that our NY based, American company was replaced by Germans taking the profits home. Imagine that!
    PS. I love Mimis but cannot remember there ever being one in Oswego. The Mexico MIMIs closed many years ago which was located across from the high school. If I am wrong, please let me know as that would be good history lesson that I wasn’t aware of.

  16. Wizard; you sir are correct. there was a MIMIs in Oswego in the 70’s. I had no idea but was able to confirm with a few old timers that it indeed did exist. Thanks for mentioning it. Love Mimis

  17. Yup spent plenty of time after school and Little League games at Mimi’s! — when I wasn’t at Giovo’s :) The Oswego Mimi’s was on the west side near Pizza Hut I think it’s a nail salon now. Some guy named Mo Todd was flipping burgers there if I remember correctly . . .

  18. re: Steve Y….Yes, on the corner of 5th Ave and Rt104. Mimi’s turned into a bar called “The Oddessy” after it closed down initially in the early 70’s. Mimi’s also had a location out in Mexico, I think.

  19. Yes It was on Main Street across from the high school Started out mostly ice cream at the counter – added a row of seats at a counter overlooking the river and a dinning room behind the kitchen and offered a much larger menu . . . GOD I miss that place

  20. and …… My cousin Matt Brancato started a bar in the old Oswego Mimi’s several years ago — called it The Nuthouse

  21. I remember the nuthouse..it had a light/siren behind the bar and when the police showed up they would light the siren/light and everyone knew to put down their beers if you didn’t have proper ID.

  22. THANK GOODNESS, we’ll still have a TOPS in the region! IN HANNIBAL, a short 20 minutes (max) from either Fulton or Oswego, and a very nice drive on a Fall day, which we did today! :0)

  23. Tops already had a solid foothold in Fulton, and Oswego for that matter. I don’t know the dealings that went on, but Tops left both places and Price Chopper moved into both stores. In Fulton it made sense to me, because Price Chopper wanted to be a bit farther away from the new Walmart being built at the time. Years later Tops decides to take a different tactic and buy up the locally owned smaller grocery stores. It is working for them in smaller towns like Hannibal and Mexico, but not so much in Fulton where there’s Save a Lot right down the street, then a large Price Chopper a little farther down the street, then Walmart and Aldis also in relatively easy distance. To put it simply, Tops left Fulton a long time ago, and chose the wrong strategy to get back into Fulton.

  24. You buy a business because it is successful i.e. Strupplers, and the first thing Tops did was change everything.

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