The problems began to show back in February as the grocery store chain filed Chapter 11.  In April, Tops petitioned a federal judge to begin closing stores in order to "preserve liquidity and maximize the value of their respective estates."

Now, according to WGRZ, the judge has provided that option.  By approving the paperwork, they can move ahead with store closing procedures.

So why were these stores under producing?  They cite locations saturated with other grocery stores, inappropriate store sizes or locations with above-market rent for the lack of production.

Specific stores that would be closing were not named.

Tops is headquartered just outside Buffalo in Williamsville and operates 169 full-service stores, with five additional locations operated by franchisees under the Tops Friendly Markets banner.