Whole Foods Market Inc., has acquired leases from Safeway Inc. for seven Chicago-area locations that use to operate under the Dominick's banners.
In a Feb. 3 news release, the Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods declined to state terms of the agreement with the Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc., but stated it expects the locations to remain closed for remodeling and reopen next year as new Whole Foods Market stores.
Whole Foods views the additions as part of its strategy to “quickly and significantly” expand its greater Chicago area presence, Michael Bashaw, the company’s Midwest regional president, said in the releases.
“These locations fit well with our 19 existing stores as well as the three stores currently in development,” he said in the release. “We plan to remodel each store to reflect its community and look forward to offering fresh, natural and organic foods to a broader base of Chicago customers.”
The leases involve stores formerly owned by the Oak Brook, Ill.-based Dominick's Finer Foods Inc., in these Illinois cities: Edgewater, Elmhurst, Evanston, Lincoln Park, Streeterville, West Loop, and Willowbrook.
Whole Foods officials expect the acquisition to be “slightly dilutive” to the company’s earnings-per-share in fiscal year 2014, due in most part to the pre-opening rent associated with the new leases, according to the release.
Whole Foods plans to offer additional information in its first quarter earnings report on Feb. 12.