Mariano's buys 11 Chicago Dominick's

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J.R.
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By Micah Maidenberg December 02, 2013

Mariano's Fresh Market is paying $36 million in cash to Safeway Inc. to take over 11 local Dominick's grocery stores, the company announced this afternoon.

Mariano's parent, Milwaukee-based Roundy's Inc., will convert the following Dominick’s stores in Mariano’s:

• Park Ridge: 1900 S. Cumberland Ave.
• Western Springs: No. 14 Garden Market Street
• Chicago: 3145 S. Ashland Ave.
• Chicago: 2021 W. Chicago Ave.
• Northfield: 1822 Willow Rd.
• Westchester: 3020 S. Wolf Rd.
• Buffalo Grove: 450 Half Day Rd.
• Chicago: 5201 N. Sheridan Rd.
• Gurnee: 6655 Grand Ave.
• Aurora: 3025 E. New York St.
• Shorewood: 950 Brook Forest Ave.

“This acquisition is transformational in terms of Mariano’s expansion plans in the Chicago metropolitan area, allowing us to open 11 additional stores in 2014 in prime locations with great market demographics,” Robert Mariano, chairman, president and CEO of Roundy’s, said in the statement.

Roundy’s will take possession of all the stores in January and February, close them and convert them into Mariano’s groceries during a 30- to 45-day period, a company spokesman said. Details about when specific stores will close were not immediately available.

Mariano’s has emerged as one of the most aggressive grocers in the Chicago market. It now has 13 stores open in the Chicago market. Five more that are under construction are expected to open next year.

A Safeway spokeswoman did not immediately return a call.

J.R.
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http://www.chicagobusiness.co
J.R.
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I just heard a rumor that

I just heard a rumor that Mariano's growth may be slowed by financial issues. We'll see how fast all of these stores are opened.

J.R.
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2 more future Marianos locations

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140220/NEWS07/140219722/with-ba...

The owner of Mariano's Fresh Market plans a store in north suburban Bannockburn and is in talks to open one on Chicago's West Side, part of its push to bring as many as 50 supermarkets to the area.

NFriday
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The Bannockburn store will be across the street from Heinen's

Hi- It is interesting that Marianos purchased the nursery and adjoining land right across the street from the Bannockburn Dominick's store, which will be converted to a Heinen's store in a few months. Then there is a new store that is opening up in Deerfield this Spring, which I believe is not too far from there, and there is a Whole Foods in Deerfield, which is less than two miles away from this Mariano's. I don't know if this area can handle that many upscale stores, even though the area is upper middle class. The only way all those stores will survive is if they get a lot of traffic from people that work in the area.

wendyc1276
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Mariano's "Upscale"?

I think that a lot of people that have not yet shopped at Mariano's have the impression that it is a high-end grocer, along the lines of Whole Foods, Sunset, and Heinen. Actually, Mariano's is what I would call the "middle of the road" that we are missing in today's grocery infrastructure. It seems that the market has now shifted to include high-end, high-cost stores, or low-cost shopping such as Aldi, Ultra. And then the "non-grocery" grocery stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. The landscape has really changed.

I think Dominick's and Jewel tried to be all things to all people - now after Dominick's demise, Jewel went on a price cutting spree to gain market share.

I think Mariano's is trying to be more like the middle market stores we used to have. Only time will tell us if that is successful and commercially viable. Again, they are now REALLY trying to be all things to all people, but I have enjoyed the shopping experience. Some things that I have noted:

The have a LOT of staff - I don't know how long that will be financially feasible. I don't know how much of a profit Roundy's is getting out of this division, I've always heard about the thin profit margins that grocers operate on. These stores have to have a high operating cost, we'll see if prices get jacked up in the future.

Mariano's DOES have some great gourmet finds (with gourmet prices). The cheese shop has hundreds of kinds of cheese and there is a real cheese expert on duty. On the other hand, they do have some great prices on everyday grocery items, usually the same or a bit less than I have been paying at Jewel. Some of the things have been significantly less, allowing me to splurge on that $9.00 hunk of cheese.

Bottom line, I would not judge them on the prices of a few high end items. I did all my shopping at Jewel in January, and have started shopping at Mariano's since they opened early this month. I typically buy much of the same items every week, and my Mariano's bill has been slightly less AND I've had a couple of splurges at the bakery and cheese shop.

One thing I have noticed about the receipts. My Jewel receipts like to tell me that I've saved 15.00 - 20.00 or so based on their "sale" items. My Mariano's receipts often tell me I've saved 3.00 - 5.00 because there are fewer "discounts." But the bill nets about the same.

And I think I've mentioned before, Heinen's is a fairly high-end grocery, but they have excellent buys on some of their loss leaders.

J.R.
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Marianos is what Dominicks

Marianos is what Dominicks was SUPPOSED to be.

J.R.
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First rebranded Marianos opens today in Park Ridge

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-mariano-dominicks-conversion-0...

""The challenge is getting the right people and getting them trained, getting them the experience and having the time to mentor them and let them grow," Mariano said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday in Park Ridge. "The human resource team is right at the tip of the spear. That's job one and very critical."

Mariano's winnowed down about 2,700 applications to hire 310 employees in Park Ridge. Most are part-time positions, and all employees are members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881.

Though former Dominick's employees were encouraged to apply, only a handful will work at the Park Ridge store."

J.R.
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Exit plan?

So what is Dominick's exit plan? WIll they stop stocking stores (or have they done so already), selling off the remaining merchandise until it's gone?

Will they have a massive after Christmas sale?

Will they donate it all to food pantries?

Coupon Maven
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In the past...

... when a single store has closed, they pick a day and drop everything in the store to 50% off. You can still use coupons, and 75% of the inventory is wiped out in a day or two. The rest gets clearanced further.

letsshop
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I am in the middle of 2 stores

20 blocks exactly apart from each other ! hoping to get some good sales ,I am hoping they put the fixtures for sale ,love the produce planter type baskets for my yard .

kkris812
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I live by the 'flagship'

I live by the 'flagship' Dominick's in the city which is about 3 blocks from a Jewel. This Dominick's is 1 block from my home and I don't have a car so it's so convenient to go just 1 more stop on the bus on the way home. Going to Jewel would have to be planned. A rumor going around was that Whole Foods was buying it and I was crushed. WF's is not a grocery store that I can shop at and "Whole Paycheck" doesn't fit into my budget. Then Mariano's comes in and it literally made my day.

On a side note, Peapod sent out coupons to people in the area for 25% off that are not for 1st time customers only. Great marketing on their part. It expires in January I think but I'm saving it for a big order between the Dom's closing and Mariano's opening.

kps
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Marianos Purchasing Dominicks Stores

I was very disappointed to see that the Dominicks store in Palos Heights was not on the list. I am wondering if there is any news about that particular store.

J.R.
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http://www.chicagobusiness.co

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131203/NEWS07/131209975/how-mar...

Interesting to note that while Marianos will have less than half the current number of Dominicks stores, it will employ more people, and be the second largest grocery chain in the Chicago area.

letsshop
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(:

Better service! wish I appreciated organic foods ,but at my age its a little late
Will be great for future shoppers ,hate when you can never find anyone to help you Kohls especially I think 1 sales person does the whole store .

J.R.
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Interesting you mention

Interesting you mention Kohl's. When I lived in the Arlington Heights area, there was a Kohl's grocery store on Dundee Rd. Can't remember the cross street, but I recognize the building with the huge arch every time I drive past. They were GREAT back in the day before there were all these other stores in the area.

Going WAY back, there was A&P and Kroger and others that all dropped out of the market over the years.

grandma g
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Thanks for the memory

I remember that Kohl's too! I had forgotten there used to be a Kohl's grocery store. Wonder if it's related to the Kohl's department store? Yes, I remember A&P and Kroger too. They're still around the country I think. This area seems to be tough for grocery stores with so many big chains leaving the area. But new ones are always popping up!

J.R.
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I'm pretty sure it was the

I'm pretty sure it was the same Kohl's family. I'd much rather have the grocery store than the department store.

NFriday
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Not all of their food is organic

I have only been to Mariano's once, but not all of their food is organic. They have a really nice produce section, and they have a wonderful takeout section, where you can buy gelato, coffee, and prepared foods that you can eat there. They had small dishes of gelato they were selling for $1, and it was really good. The Mariano's I went to back in August on Western Avenue in Chicago, was located right next to a Jewel store, and the Mariano's was doing at least twice as much business as Jewel was. The store is probably more comparable to Sunset Foods or Treasure Island.

SteelyAims
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There Will Be Many Empty Locations

In Wauconda, at Rt. 176 and 12/59, there has been an empty Dominick's for years. We moved up here in 2007, and it was empty then. We also have a current Dominick's further north in Fox Lake on 12/59. The only hope for the Fox Lake store is a small local grocer, even though it's a really large store. Both Wauconda and Fox Lake have Jewel stores close by. I expect an empty box in Fox Lake for years to come. I feel sorry for the other stores in the attached strip mall.

coupronto
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I've been in RLB since 2008,

I've been in RLB since 2008, and there's been an abandoned Dominicks here too. Word was a Marianos, but looking at that list, it doesn't seem so.

SteelyAims
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That awful strip mall in RLB

That horrible strip mall where the Dominicks and Walmart used to be should be bulldozed. Talk about blight! And the last thing needed in Wauconda is a Home Depot. They're oversaturated in that area. I'd love to see Ultra come up further north. Right now their northernmost store is in Prospect Heights. There are quite a few good locations in the northern suburbs for them.

coupronto
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I agree.

I feel so bad for Sallys still stuck in there. The KMart down the street is closing next week too.

BJ
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Wauconda

This store has been empty for years. Several years ago the rumor was that Dominick's wouldn't rent it out to a competitor who was trying to open a store. There was even talk about it being a Home Depot at one point.

Coupon Maven
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I think that too

The Dominick's at Randall & Huntley Road in Carpentersville has been vacant since it closed (1, 2?) years ago, and I haven't heard about anyone having plans to move in there. I'm curious to see what happens with the Lake in the Hills and Crystal Lake Dominick's stores. The Crystal Lake store is in a good location on Rt. 14, and I would think *someone* would move in there...

AuntDiane
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I was hoping Mariano's would buy the one in Willowbrook

I've never been to a Mariano's but I've heard a lot of good things. I guess I will check out the one in Western Springs when it opens.

coupronto
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comparable to sunset foods

The husband and I went to the one in Vernon Hills, after a friend raved about this store. We found the store to be rather pricey, and comparable to a Sunset Foods. The only things that really stood out was the build your own 6-pk of beer, and their deli area. But I did hear that Mariano's doubles coupons on Tuesdays.

NFriday
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On Wednesdays

Hi- I believe Mariano's doubles coupons on Wednesday, but you have to spend $25 before they will double. At Sunset they unload your cart for you, and load your car, and Mariano's does not do that. Mariano's every day price is a little lower than Sunset. They don't have a lot on sale though. They do have quite a few store bands that are not too expensive, and you can purchase a small gelato for $1, and their take out coffee is cheaper than Starbuck's. I appreciate the fact that they have a much better produce section than Jewel or Dominick's do too. I've heard that their meat selection is supposed to be a lot better too. The one time I went to Mariano's it was in August when I do the majority of my shopping at the farmer's market anyway, and so I did not buy very much. I was just in the neighborhood, and decided to stop in. They were doing at least twice as much business as the Jewel which was right next door, and I have been told that it is always like that. I think I read somewhere yesterday that their store sales are something like twice as much as Dominick's or Jewel.

Mr. Mariano used to work for Dominick's for years before Safeway took them over, and he is the one that came up with the idea of the fresh store, which Safeway kind of ran into the ground, and he is trying to reestablish the fresh stores.

coupronto
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thanks for the info

I gonna give them another go when the Gurnee location opens. I like that he's bringing back the fresh stores. When we lived on the north side, we shopped at Caputos. I've missed those kinds of grocery stores since moving up to Lake County.

NFriday
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The Northfield store does not surprise me

Hi= I am not surprised that Mariano's is taking over the Northfield store on Willow. That store caters to people that have money. It is only two miles from a huge Whole Foods store in Northbrook though. I am surprised that Whole Foods would want to purchase the Green Bay store in Evanston though. Evanston already has two Whole Food stores, unless they plan on closing the South Evanston location, which is down the street from a recently opened Trader Joe's. It would be nice if Ultra or Meijer's opened up in Evanston at the Dempster/Dodge location, but I doubt that is going to happen.

It is interesting that Mariano's is opening a new store on McCormick in Skokie where Klein tools used to be, where there is a Dominick's store right down the street in Lincolnwood that they could have moved into. I just shopped at Lincolnwood Town Centre a few weeks ago, and I noticed that they had bulldozed the Klein tools location.

Has anybody heard if Meijer's is taking over any of the stores? Thanks, Nancy

J.R.
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Marianos deal for the Klein

Marianos deal for the Klein site was probably done before the Dominicks announcement.

Meijer is a much larger store than a grocery only. Plus Meije has HUGE real estate holdings already. Being family owned, they can plan FAR into the future, making long term rather than short term decisions.

NFriday
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Meijer's is already moving into Skokie

Hi- Yes Mariano's announced the Skokie store probably six months ago. Yes I know that Meijer's stores are much larger. I was just hoping for one of those grocery only stores like they have on Golf Road in Niles. Meijer's is building a large store in Skokie somewhere near the new Mariano's store, but it is going to be several years before we see the store. They are nowhere near ready to start building it. There is also a new Walmart being built in the same area, but I have no idea when it is going to open up.

J.R.
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WHOLE FOODS A POSSIBLE BUYER

Whole Foods has pursued the following seven Dominick's, sources believe:

• Chicago: 255 E. Grand Ave.
• Chicago: 1 N. Halsted St.
• Chicago: 6009 N. Broadway St.
• Chicago: 959 W. Fullerton Ave.
• Evanston: 2748 Green Bay Rd.
• Elmhurst: 215 S. Route 83.
• Willowbrook: 6300 S. Robert Kingery Hwy. Whole Foods would close their existing Willowbrook store, and move it into this Dominick's.

In an email, a Chicago-based spokesman for Whole Foods declined to confirm the company would take the above seven stores, saying only that the company had no news to share.

Other landlords may not be so lucky as other grocery companies — like Jewel-Osco parent New Albertsons Inc. — pick over the Dominick's portfolio. As of last week, at least 19 Dominick's stores had not been snapped up by competing grocers, though the number could change before the dust settles, sources said.

letsshop
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Darn

Willowbrook is where my second Dominicks store is and around the corner is Whole foods!
So one Dominick's left its in Countryside ,and I am still hoping for a CVS at least !

Deals4Us
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Elmhurst

I heard that Whole Foods did buy the Elmhurst store on route 83.

NFriday
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Whole Foods already has a store on Huron

Hi- Whole Foods already has a store on Huron, which I believe would only be a few blocks from the Grand location. I wonder if they are going to keep both stores open? Thanks, Nancy

J.R.
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... From Crains Chicago email

... From Crain's Chicago email list. Worth subscribing to. FREE!

Coupon Maven
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Just got it too

I subscribe to Seeking Alpha and it came over as I was writing my reply! They're fast too. Link: http://seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1441081

Coupon Maven
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Very, very interesting

Thanks for posting this! That's an aggressive move on Mariano's part - good for them! :)

letsshop
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WELL

Their goes one of my stores ,still have 2 left.I am not so thrilled about that store pricy I think ):

J.R.
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You might as well think about

You might as well think about all of them as gone. If they are on this list, then you will still have some place to shop. Otherwise, it's going to be empty real estate after the end of the year.

I wish there was one by me. It can't be any worse than 2, soon to be 3 shuttered Dominick's.

letsshop
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B ut

Really was hoping for a CVS store or Meijers even a Ultra would be great .Wish I knew whats going on with old closed Kmart on rt.83

AuntDiane
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I heard that was going to be a Pete's Fresh Market

I've never shopped at a Pete's so I'm not sure what it's like.