Community, the recurring theme of the opening, was strongly emphasized as Tops officials, village representatives, customers, Tops associates, and the Hannibal Tops store manager Sean Grant officially opened the 172nd chain store of Tops Market located at 409 Fulton St. in Hannibal.
During the opening celebration, manager of community relations, Kathleen Adams and store manager, Sean Grant presented $500 worth of Tops gift cards to each of seven local organizations including the Hannibal Free Library, the Hannibal Fire Department, the Hannibal Resource Center, Dollars for Scholars, Hannibal Music Boosters and Hannibal Sports Boosters.
Tops has already began community participation in events such as the Hannibal Field Days and through hosting the Stuff-A-Bus campaign.
Allen stressed that this dedication to community organizations and participation in the community is a trend that will be seen continuously as Tops continues to establish its presence in Hannibal.
Many of the community relations established by former store, the Hannibal Village Market IGA are being maintained by Tops Friendly Market including many of the stores employees which according to Grant, a “vast majority” of the stores current staff are former employees of the IGA that have joined as Tops associates.
New to the community are the many programs that Tops offers its customers.
One of the most popular programs is the gas points program Tops offers in which customers can take advantage of ten cents off per gallon of gas for every 100 points they earn through shopping at Tops.
Other savings and community programs include Young at Heart in which customers over the age of 60 can save six percent of their total order on the first Tuesday of every month, as well as a diaper reward program in which every dollar spent on diapers is equivalent to one point of which customers can redeem 100 points for a $20 certificate toward their next diaper purchase, and Tops in Education which allows customers the opportunity to register the school of their choice to their BonusPlus card and have Tops contributes up to 5% of their purchase to the chosen school by shopping select brands.
The savings and bonus programs are some of the reasons customers choose Tops over grocery stores in neighboring cities.
For customer Jean Gamble, price comparisons are a necessity at any grocery store she shops at although she was a frequent shopper of Tops when it formerly had a location in Oswego. Today, the Tops BonusPlus gas program is enough incentive for her to choose Tops over any store in Oswego that is equal distance from her home.
The only way to utilize the many programs, savings, and community benefits they provide, is to learn how to use them properly and take advantage of them, said Hannibal Mayor Fred Kent.
Kent told Oswego County Today he is working with Tops officials to host a tutorial in the near future on the many programs Tops offers for service organizations and customers to fully understand what is offered and how to benefit from it.
But more than just the programs, Kent is happy to see Hannibal maintain a grocery store of its own and especially one that offers the selection, quality and savings as Tops, he said.
“I’m really excited about it. It has the strength of 172 stores and will remain stable no matter what the conditions are. It’s badly needed in this community, our own store, because in those winter storms we still need groceries and gas. All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about this,” Kent said.
Tops officials were pleased to officially present the newly refreshed store, expanded product range, and full range gas station after a half million dollar project to reopen the store as a Tops Friendly Market was complete.
“I’m very excited and more than thrilled for the opportunity to serve this community, and I’m honored to be the face of the Hannibal Tops,” store manager, Sean Grant said.
Tops in Hannibal stood firm at the store’s official grand opening that the Friendly Markets slogan “neighbors helping neighbors” will always be maintained in the Hannibal community.