(July 21) Amsterdam, Netherlands-based global retailer Royal Ahold NV recently announced its decision to divest 46 grocery stores operating under the Tops Markets LLC banner.

The Buffalo, N.Y.-based chain will see stores unloaded in the Greater Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Norwalk areas of northeast Ohio.

Part of Ahold's Giant-Carlisle/Tops Arena, Tops Markets operates 119 units under the Tops name plus four Martin's Super Food Stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Ahold said it has removed Ohio as a core part of Tops' market area, and has retained William Blair & Co. LLC to talk with potential buyers of the 46 stores.