(CBS) — The fate of the vast majority of Dominick’s stores was still in question a day after parent company Safeway Inc. announced plans to sell them quickly.
Four will be turned into Jewel-Osco stores, what happens to the other 68 is a big mystery. Some fear the once-thriving stores will be turned into vacant eyesores.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
The Dominick’s on 71st and Jeffrey has been a fixture in the South Shore neighborhood for more than 20 years. News of its closing raises concerns.
Safety is one issue; convenience is another.
“There’s no other Dominick’s in this area so a lot of people really depend on this store,” shopper Abdul Sadat says.
Nearby businesses like Seashell restaurant also depend on the grocer to drive traffic.
Neighbors would like to see Dominick’s sell the store to another grocer.
Safeway put all its stores on the market. It’s already sold four, but that leaves 68 others. Owners say they hope to sell the rest by early 2014.
“Clearly it could take some time, and they may not be able to sell all of them by when they want to, but I think there’s probably going to be strong interest,” says Ken Perkins, supermarket analyst for Morningstar.
Maria Cozzo works at a downtown location bought by Jewel-Osco.
“Very happy when I came in to find out that I still have a job, at least for now,” she says.
Industry experts say Dominick’s is being forced to close its stores because of increased competition from other grocers.
A number of Dominick’s competitors say they may be interested in buying stores.