Retail scene gets more competitive

12/07/2012 03:30:00 PM
Tom Karst

Mariano’s is one of the newest entrants in the Chicago market.

Mariano’s, operated by Milwaukee-based Roundy’s, said in an early November news release that the chain now operates eight Mariano’s stores in the Chicago market.

Roundy’s officials said in the release that the chain is pleased with the performance of its Chicago area stores.

“With eight Mariano’s now open in the Chicago area, we are gaining significant traction, and continue to invest in the growth of that market,” Robert Mariano, Roundy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

Bishop said competition from Mariano’s has been harder on Dominick’s.

“The guys running Mariano’s are the same people who used to run Dominick’s, so that’s not working well for Dominick’s,” Bishop said.

While Jewel is still a well-respected store, Bishop said consumers may hold the chain’s high-price image against it.

Heinen’s Fine Foods, a retailer from Cleveland, opened its first store outside of Ohio and its 18th store overall in Barrington, in August. The upscale retailer set up shop in the affluent Chicago suburb, where the median household income is $135,000.

“They do a really nice job with a quality produce offering, with some interesting variety and more upscale than average,” Bishop said.

Bishop said Trader Joe’s stores in Chicago are getting slowly and steadily better in their produce offerings, he said. Aldi stores continue to do well in Chicago, Bishop said.


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