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What Will Mariano’s Purchase Of 11 Dominick’s Stores Mean For Prices?

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A Mariano's sign. (CBS)

A Mariano’s sign. (CBS)

Chris Martinez Chris Martinez
Chris Martinez is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – With the Mariano’s grocery store chain set to take over 11 Dominick’s locations that were scheduled to close this month, many customers have been left wondering what they can expect when the stores change hands.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez visited stores from both chains to do a price check, comparing the base price of ten items at Dominick’s and Mariano’s.

The list was filled with common purchases for shoppers. In each case, we bought the same brand and size of each item, and did not use coupons, or buy items on sale.

Mariano’s offered better prices on more items than Dominick’s.

For example, a half-gallon bottle of Dean’s milk sold for 50 cents less at Mariano’s. A pound of lean ground beef also was 50 cents cheaper at Mariano’s, and a 12-pack of Northern brand bathroom tissue was $1.49 cheaper at Mariano’s.

We also saved at Mariano’s on a 50-ounce bottle of Tide liquid detergent, but only by 10 cents.

At Dominicks, the price of an 89-ounce bottle of Tropicana orange juice was 50 cents cheaper than Mariano’s.

When added up with five other items – a box of Cheerios, a large loaf of Butternut white bread, a Tombstone frozen pizza, a dozen eggs, and a bunch of bananas – the grand total before tax was $4.28 cheaper at Mariano’s.

Of course, this was just a sampling of some prices from both stores. However, we did keep track of some other brands of the same types of items, and – on the whole – it appeared Mariano’s had slightly cheaper prices than Dominick’s.

Meantime, Mariano’s CEO Robert Mariano – who ran Dominick’s until it was sold to Safeway in 1998 – was in Chicago on Tuesday for the groundbreaking of a new store near Halsted and Clybourn. He said Mariano’s would not be taking over any additional Dominick’s locations, but he plans a future expansion of the Mariano’s chain.

Mariano’s has 13 existing stores in the Chicago area, and will expand to 29 stores by the end of next year – thanks in part to buying 11 Dominick’s locations. The expansion will bring an extra 5,000 jobs to Chicago.

While employees at the Dominick’s stores being bought by Mariano’s will lose their jobs, they’ll get severance pay and be allowed to apply for new jobs at Mariano’s.

To apply for a job with Mariano’s, click here.

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