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    Ahold Toys with the Competition

    Tops Friendly Markets to test Toys 'R' Us displays.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tops Friendly Markets, a division of Dutch grocer Ahold, has said it will test Toys 'R' Us displays in six of its stores beginning next month to gauge customer interest in two markets in the mini-toy store concept that Giant Food rolled out in some of its stores last year, according to The Buffalo News.

    The sections will take up several feet of aisle space and feature action figures and stuffed animals. They will be tested at four stores in the Buffalo area, as well as two Ohio stores.

    "We believe we will be offering our customers a new service by expanding their selection of toys, particularly during the holiday time," said Stefanie Zakowicz, director of public relations for Tops.

    Giant Food, another chain owned by Ahold, tested the concept last summer in one store and now has the Toys "R" Us displays in eight stores in Maryland and Virginia. Based on the success in the Giant stores, Ahold is putting the displays in 35 other supermarkets, such as Tops and Stop & Shop.

    Tops currently operates 150 Tops Friendly Markets, 212 convenience stores under the Wilson Farms, Sugarcreek and Tops Xpress banners, and 8 B-Kwik Food Markets in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    ABOVE: In addition to testing a toy section, Tops Markets rolled out fuel operations last year.

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