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N. Boston grocery to become Tops

A North Boston grocery store that began as a Tops-sponsored B-Kwik franchise 40 years ago has been purchased by Tops Friendly Markets.

The 10,000-square-foot store, now called the North Boston Marketplace, is on Boston State Road.

Tops expects to finalize the sale July 9. It plans to close the store that day, then reopen July 10 under the Tops banner. It will be the chain's 35th store in Erie County.

The company said it will bring increased variety, more savings and "an overall enhanced store setting."

"The North Boston grocery store is a smaller-format location, which fits our strategy and allows us to operate as a true neighborhood store," said Frank Curci, chief executive officer at Tops. "We think we'll be able to offer the community an exceptional shopping experience while continuing the traditions the store was built on."

Curci has said that Tops will seek to fill in its current footprint with smaller, "right-sized" community stores.

It acquired the store from Bob Marean, who opened the store under the Tops umbrella as a B-Kwik four decades ago.

The newest location is slated for a "major renovation" over the months ahead. Improvements will include new signs inside and outside the store, updated décor and a new storefront.

Tops is owned by private equity firm Morgan Stanley. Over the past three years, it has executed a multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan among all of its stores, including the large batch of stores it acquired from bankrupt grocer Penn Traffic.

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