Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tops may bring gas stations to CNY

Doctored photo

For anyone who follows this blog, sorry I hadn't put anything up in three months' time. There hasn't been anything to report that hasn't already been done. Also, I just have my own life to deal with.
I heard on NBC 3 for a second that Tops Markets may be building their own gas stations in Central New York as part of their comeback campaign. I can't find anything on the TV station, chain's, or any sites about this.
Right now, the closest Tops petrol station to me is at the pre-existing Auburn location. Most of them are around Rochester and Buffalo (see below).
The scheme is one used by many chains and a few indies in the States where you earn points for every certain amount that you spend. Price Chopper and select Sunocos were the first to bring it my way, and I try to get to them when I can. Their programme is the best so far that I know of, where you save 10¢ a gallon for every $50, where most others make you spend $100 like Tops, ex-sister chains BI-LO and Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle, and indie promotional discounters GasBusters.
Back to Tops, I'm not sure which locations will get the gas stations. They have to be right nearby. They can't be on every corner. A lot of digging and council approval is needed for this to happen. Camillus, Baldwinsville, North Syracuse, Fayetteville, Cortland (NY 281), and Seneca Falls are more likely candidates for this. Other CNY communities like Syracuse (Shop City), Westvale (unless the old Pep Boys two doors down gets destroyed), and Watertown, as well as small towns such as Cazenovia, Canastota, Skaneateles, and Pulaski don't really have the room or infrastructure to accommodate the gasbars.
However, you can earn the points at locations or areas that don't have Tops gas yet. I was told by HQ that I could once the new placards were erected. Also, you have to use the BonusCard, not the Wild Card which is still in use at the ex-P&Cs (Quality and Bi-Lo/Riverside are largely converted by now in the Finger Lakes, Western and Central New York, and Pennsylvania). You can bet your last litre of petrol that almost no one east of Skaneaatles realises that GasPoints even exist at Tops.
Because Price Chopper isn't convenient for everyone this half of the state, Tops may be an alternative despite being half as good as the other, but it can still help families save on gas as prices fluctuate over time. Not many majors in the Northeast offer this kind of deal. Keep an eye out in the coming months as this story unfolds.

Current locations:

Amherst (Transit Road)
Bath (309 W Morris St)
Bradford, PA
Buffalo (Sheridan & Delaware, Niagara St., and S. Park Ave.)
Elmira (S. Main St.)
Erie, PA (W. 26th St.)
Gates (Rochester subrub; NY 33 off I-490)
Grand Island
Hamburg (S. Park Ave.)
Ithaca (S. Meadow St.)
Lockport (S. Transit Rd. and Wrights Corners)
Niagara Falls (2, not Town of Niagara or ONT)
North Syracuse (on the way)
North Tonawanda
Orchard Park
Tonawanada (2)
West Seneca

This section wasn't working on their site when I first wrote this, so I copied the list from the brochure. To save time, just match up the one closest to you on both sites. Restrictions do apply.