Inside This Issue - News
Seven Dominick’s stores are sold to Whole Foods
February 10th, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas – Whole Foods Market Inc. is expanding its presence in the Chicago area via the acquisition of seven Dominick’s stores from owner Safeway Inc.
The purchase, announced February 3, is the latest chapter in the ongoing drama over the fate of 72 Dominick’s stores that began playing out after parent Safeway said last fall it would exit the Chicago market. Safeway, which acquired the Dominick’s stores in 1998, acknowledged that the chain’s mounting losses were a drain on resources and that divestiture would produce a tax benefit. Sales proceeds will be used to buy back shares and permit management to "invest in growth opportunities," the company has said.
Whole Foods is acquiring four Dominick’s stores in the city of Chicago and three in the suburbs. "These locations fit well with our 19 existing stores [and] three stores currently in development" in the Chicago market, Michael Bashaw, president of the company’s Midwest region, said in a statement.
Whole Foods said that it will remodel the Dominick’s stores and that the makeovers could keep them closed for between 12 and 15 months.
Whole Foods operates more than 370 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, making it the world’s largest purveyor of natural food products. The company recently raised its U.S. store-count goal to 1,200 from 1,000.
Whole Foods is not the only grocer moving to pick up Dominick’s outlets in Chicago: Four were bought by Joe Caputo & Sons IGA, four by Jewel-Osco and 11 by Mariano’s, the fast-growing upscale grocery chain owned by Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Inc, Single stores have gone to Cermak Fresh Market, Pete’s Fresh Market and Tony’s Finer Foods.