Jewel-Osco sticks with four Dominick’s takeovers, may buy more later
BY SANDRA GUY Staff Reporter December 18, 2013 6:18PM
This Dominick's store at 2550 N. Clybourn in Chicago is one of four that Jewel-Osco has bought and plans to convert by mid-January. | Stacia Timonere/For Sun Times Media
Jewel-Osco will convert the four Dominick’s stores it has bought by mid-January but won’t try to buy more until after the chain closes on Dec. 28, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Allison Sperling said she could not say why Jewel-Osco will not bid on more Dominick’s stores while they remain open.
“We cannot pursue any operating [Dominick’s] stores,” she said. “That does not rule out buying Dominick’s stores after they close.”
Real-estate sources had previously said they expected Jewel-Osco to buy as many as 16 more Dominick’s stores. But experts also said that Jewel-Osco, as the dominant player in the Chicago grocery arena, must beware of overstepping its bounds and raising the ire of the Federal Trade Commission by keeping rivals from competing.
Dominick’s owner, California-based Safeway Inc., announced Oct. 10 that it would exit the Chicago-area market by Dec. 28, saying the Dominick’s operations are the lowest-performing of Safeway’s business divisions and a drag on the company’s finances. The 72 Dominick’s stores employ 6,600 people.
Safeway has so far sold 15 Dominick’s stores — four to Jewel-Osco and 11 to Roundy’s, the parent company of Mariano’s supermarkets. A Safeway spokesman could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
Jewel-Osco intends to close the four Dominick’s stores it has bought for four days — no exact dates yet — to convert them to Jewel-Osco by mid-January, Sperling said.
The pharmacies at those Dominick’s stores will remain open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. — their normal operating hours, Sperling said.
“We’ll identify a specific pharmacy entrance so customers can get in safely,” Sperling said.
The four Dominick’s that Jewel’s parent company, New Albertson’s Inc., have acquired are at 1340 S. Canal and 2550 N. Clybourn in Chicago, and stores in Glenview and Homer Glen.