(CBS) – Saturday morning, dozens of Dominick’s grocery stores opened their doors for the last time.
That means customers will have to find a new place to shop, and at least one Chicago alderman is encouraging people in his ward to keep their money in the neighborhood.
On Friday, the eve of its closure, customers at the Rogers Park Dominick’s found little left to buy. Inside were only a few shelves with hardly anything on them.
The exception: greeting cards, but not even selling at 75 percent off.
“Looks like a ghost town,” longtime Dominick’s shopper Michael Coleman told CBS 2’s Mai Martinez.
For some loyal customers, it was hard to see.
Many say they will likely take their business to Jewel Osco in Evanston, which is only about a mile and half away. But 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore is encouraging them and others to keep their business in Rogers Park.
Jacqueline Turner has been a Dominick’s employee for six years and said it was “surreal” after walking out of the store for the final time.
“I work six days a week. So to see these people every day and not to see them at all now, that is sad,” said Turner.
Moore sent out an email listing a dozen other grocery stores in the neighborhood, including Morse Fresh Market and Devon Market. The latter store is already courting Dominick’s shoppers.
Safeway Inc. announced earlier this year it was shutting down the Chicago-area Dominick’s chain because it had lost money.
The move was seen as a major blow because of the 6,000 workers who would become jobless, but also because Dominick’s had a long history in Chicago.
Eleven Dominick’s stores will be converted to Mariano’s stores after Roundy’s Inc. bought the sites. Jewel agreed to buy four more.
That leaves nearly 60 Dominick’s stores that will close Saturday with no word on what may happen to them.