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Dominick’s leaving Chicago area

A grocery store chain that’s been a staple in the Chicago area for nearly 100 years will soon be history.

The owner of Dominick’s, Safeway Inc., announced Thursday it’s bagging the chain and will leave the super-competitive market as soon as the end of the year. Safeway bought Dominick’s for $1.2 billion in 1998. Safeway said it’s trying to sell as many of the stores as quickly as it can.

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The first of 11 former Dominick’s stores acquired by the Mariano’s chain reopened Tuesday in Park Ridge.

It’s located at 1900 south Cumberland just off the Kennedy expressway.

300 new employees will work at the Park Ridge store, which has been renovated and freshly stocked.

Mariano’s has 14 other Chicago area stores, with four more new stores planned for this year.

The Dominick’s acquisition will give the company a total of 29 stores.  Mariano’s expects to double its number of employees to more than 10,000 by the end of the year.

Over the weekend, we learned whole Foods does not plan to open its seven former Dominick’s grocery stores until sometime next year.


Whole Foods Market is purchasing four former Dominick’s stores in Chicago and three in surrounding suburbs, Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting.

According to Crain’s the grocery store chain will take over the following city locations:

-1 N. Halsted Street in the West Loop
-225 E. Grand Avenue in Streeterville
-6009 N. Broadway Avenue in Edgewater
- 959 W. Fullerton Avenue in Lincoln Park

Whole Foods is also purchasing the former Dominick’s located at 6300 S. Robert Kingery Hwy. in Willowbrook, Crain’s reported.

Crain’s also reported then that the grocery store chain may take over the Dominick’s at 2748 Green Bay Rd. in Evanston and at 215 S. Rt. 83 in Elmhurst.

Across Chicagoland– the end of an era– as dozens of Dominick’s stores closed for good and set more than 6,000 employees out of work.

“It’s been rough for a lot of people, definitely the ones who’ve been here for like 30, 40 years.  Yeah, those are the ones I feel bad for.”

Steve Yamamoto, eight years at Dominick’s himself, Saturday, got suspended just minutes after walking in for the final hours, because of what he put on YouTube.

A parody video, two minutes long, made with his co-workers and edited right on his smart phone.

“Pretty much, the demise of Dominick’s. That was the theme; I guess that was the theme, yeah.”

“It was meant as a joke. Yeah, it was definitely meant as a joke.  All in good fun. All in good fun,” he said.

But corporate apparently, didn’t agree.

“I came in for the last day, I was in there for maybe five minutes and then my store manager came and she got a call and brought me in the office and told me I had to be suspended, there were no hard feelings on her part. She was really sympathetic,” he said.

It was nearly three months ago that parent company Safeway announced its plan to close down the 72 Dominick’s, a financial decision, it said.  The chain lost more than $35 million in 2013.  But more than the loss for customers of a brand known here for more than 90 years was the loss of jobs.

“It was for the employees. That’s what it was for. It was only meant to lighten the blow. I made the video to pretty much raise the spirits of the employees, get a good laugh before the end of the year.”

His worry now, a severance package, three weeks’ pay he fears may not come because of this.

“Yeah, it’s unfair; it’s unfair I would say.   Why? Well, I work hard.  I’ve worked hard for them for a long time. I guess I thought I could’ve gotten into trouble but I never thought I would, actually.  We’re closing.  I can’t harm the Dominick’s name I can’t stop you from shopping at Dominick’s because there’s no more Dominick’s.”

Full video of Steve Yamamoto’s Safeway Parody “Thanks Safeway”


Dozens of Dominick’s stores closed Saturday afternoon and 6,000 employees will loose their jobs.

A spokesperson says workers will still be inside cleaning up, but no one is allowed in after twelve.

Jewel-Osco will convert four Dominick’s stores by mid-January.

Mariano’s purchased 11 of the locations, and Jewel Osco bought four of them. These stores will begin transitioning next month.

A buyer still hasn’t come forward to purchase the remaining stores.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed a task force to deal with the closings, to prevent some neighborhoods from becoming food deserts.

Dominick’s stores across the Chicago area are just days away from shutting down for good, and a group of independent grocery stores that are affiliated with Centrella in Joliet may try to purchase some of the roughly 50 remaining locations.

All Dominick’s stores are slated to close by December 28th. Mariano’s and Jewel have purchased some of the Dominick’s locations.

The uncertainty of some of the Dominick’s stores, especially the one in the South Shore neighborhood, is making loyal shoppers wonder where they’ll be able to buy their groceries. Some of them don’t have vehicles, or are senior citizens who can’t travel far.

A man who runs a ferry service to-and-from the Dominick’s in South Shore is worried about his business.

“It’s a big dent. It’s a distance. It’s going to affect us a lot too because people are going to be in the other areas already so they’re not going to call us to come all the way over there,” said Abdul Sadat.

Ald. Leslie Hairston and Mayor Emanuel have set up a task force to talk to independent grocers to lure them to communities where Dominick’s are leaving.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

Mariano’s is looking to hire more than 1,000 people to staff some of its new stores.

Mariano’s will hold a job fair Saturday at the Chicago Marriott Southwest, located at 1200 Burr Ridge Pkwy. in Burr Ridge.

The job openings are for the first five stores that re-open under the Mariano’s name. The company is looking to fill all kinds of positions that range from store directors to cake decorators. Two of the stores are located in Chicago, one in Park Ridge, one in Northfield, and one in Western Springs.

The grocery store chain is buying 11 Dominick’s locations for $36 million. The deal will go through by the end of December.

Dominick’s employees are encouraged to apply for the positions, but they won’t get preferential treatment.

Of the 11 Dominick’s stores that Mariano’s is purchasing, five will reopen by March, five will undergo renovations in the spring, and the one in Westchester will stay closed until later in the year to undergo a full remodeling.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

Mariano’s grocery chain is making a big play for real estate in the Chicago area by gobbling up 11 Dominick’s locations scheduled to close later this month.

The deal is s costing Bob Mariano $36 million to buy the stores and another $3 million to spruce them up.

The end of the year marks the end of the road for the Dominick’s name in Chicago. But thanks to Mariano’s Fresh Market, 11 of its stores will live on giving Roundy’s, the parent company, 24 Mariano stores in all in the region.

Dominick’s employees stand to lose the most.  They have to reapply for jobs after the holidays when Mariano’s is ready to staff its stores.

57 other Dominick’s stores remain up for sale. Competing Jewel Food Store has purchased a few, but the rest will simply close after Christmas if some other retailer doesn’t step in to take over.

The locations being purchased are:

•    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.


The roughly 5,600 Dominick’s employees in jeopardy of losing their jobs around the holidays this year have the opportunity Tuesday to find new ones at a job fair.

Nearly 70 stores in the Chicago area are set to close by December 28th.

The grocery store chain is holding the event at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont until 6pm.

“It’s bitter sweet. I will admit it. It’s bitter sweet. But, we’re doing everything that we can to support our employees, and to assist them in this transition. We realize that it is a monumental transition,” said Lauri Sanders, Director of Public Affairs for Dominick’s.

Jewel, Meijer, Peapod, and Whole Foods are among the more than 40 companies participating in the job fair. The one major company not there: Mariano’s.

It’s hosting its own job fair at the Double Tree Hotel in Rosemont, which is just next door to the Dominick`s job fair. But, it’s strictly for the company`s soon-to-open store in Lake Zurich. A former Dominick’s executive now oversees Mariano’s. Mariano’s says the timing and location are a coincidence.

The Dominick’s job fair comes with a negative side though. If its employees take new jobs now, they won`t get their severance packages.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

There’s hope some more Dominick’s employees will get to keep their jobs.

Dominick’s is set to close its stores before New Year’s Eve.

Friday, Mariano’s confirms it may acquire some of the closing locations.

Last month, Jewel Food Stores stepped in and bought four of Dominick’s 72 locations.

Mariano’s, which is run by the former president of Dominick’s, opened its 13th location in Wheaton last week and plans to open five more stores next year.

Dominick’s employed more than 5600 workers.

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting Safeway will close all unsold Dominick’s stores on December 28th, according to a company memo.

Human Resources Director Dewayne Howard wrote in the memo to all employees that on December 28th, they will be “separated” and “the closures are expected to be permanent.”

Four of the 72 Dominick’s stores have been sold to Jewel-Osco owner New Albertsons Inc., with a number of other stores being considered by competing groceries.