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The Buffalo News reports on a new format being tested by Ahold's Tops Markets in Ohio, where the company is complementing a new EDLP strategy with a format emphasizes "darker white and warm colors. Signs above the aisles are trimmed with green. Vivid pictures adorn aisles stocked with baby items, pet supplies and greeting cards."

The News notes that the makeover isn’t just cosmetic. "The new-look Tops is also selling convenience, with self-serve food stations and kiosks to cater to customers on the go." And the store resembles those run by Ahold's Giant of Carlisle, Pa. - which isn’t surprising considering that Ahold has been trying to capitalize on synergies between the two chains as a cost-savings measure. Cutting costs is important to Ahold these days, seeing as it is grappling with a billion dollar overstatement of profits and resulting corporate turmoil. And has put its Bruno's and Bi-Lo divisions up for sale.
KC's View:
Check out the How Heart Strings Affect Purse Strings story below…it suggests that maybe Ahold/Tops is wasting its money.

Not that we feel that way. The thing that we don't know - and that probably only time will tell - is whether the synergies being developed between Giant and Tops will help both companies, or just create a more homogenous shopping experience that won't thrill the customers of either chain. We know that's not what Ahold is shooting for…but it seems fair to at least acknowledge that this is something they have to be careful about.

By the bay, apologies to Cole Porter for the headline. We couldn't help ourselves.