Safeway shutters unsold Dominick’s - The Packer

Safeway shutters unsold Dominick’s

01/02/2014 12:41:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

After shoppers had their last change at Dominick’s stores, nearby competitors in Chicagoland picked the bones with offers of discounts for the shoppers of the former Safeway chain.

Jewel-Osco offered a 10% discount for food and general merchandise purchases for customers who surrendered their Dominick’s loyalty card at checkout.

“We would love the opportunity to invite you into any of our locations to turn in your Fresh Value card to receive a discount at your neighborhood Jewel-Osco,” read a Jewel-Osco blog post dated Dec. 16. “Your card will then be destroyed since you won’t need it any longer once you transition into a Jewel-Osco shopper.”

The company reportedly plans to convert the four Dominick’s locations it purchased from Safeway in early January. Mariano’s, a Roundy’s banner, purchased another 11 stores.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc. also offered a $15 off $50 purchase to former Dominick’s shoppers with a direct-mail coupon or by surrendering their Fresh Value card.

Nearly 60 of the remaining unsold Dominick’s stores closed in late December, with a few suburban locations given a month reprieve while a reported possible sale to Sunset Foods is negotiated.

The Chicago mayor’s office established a “task force” in December to find tenants for vacant sites, ensure access to fresh food in affected areas and help the nearly 6,000 displaced workers.

Chicago isn’t necessarily hurting for grocery access, however, with a dozen or so major players with new stores planned for the area, said retail analyst David Livingston. They include Aldi, Costco, Meijer, Walmart, Plum Market, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and a new player in Fresh Thyme on the horizon.

“Chicago has many strong independents, Hispanic and Asian operators to take over some stores,” he said. “Those sterile old Dominick’s stores will be replaced by the more modern formats.”

Walmart’s Neighborhood Market is a likely candidate for some of the shuttered Dominick’s locations, among other retailers.

“Some are just holding out until more desirable occupancy costs can be had,” he said.

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K. McCausland    
Illinois  |  January, 04, 2014 at 04:23 AM

I would rather have "those sterile old Dominick's stores" than the Flying W stores that have destroyed the playing field for grocery stores as well as other retail businesses in this country. Manufacturing and distribution have suffered as well.

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