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updated: 6/21/2012 5:13 PM

Sara Lee to close outlets; 75 lose jobs

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Downers Grove-based Sara Lee said Thursday it will close its 11 retail outlet stores nationwide by late November, including stores in Downers Grove, Palatine, Skokie and Streamwood.

About 75 workers will lose their jobs, although the company said they can apply for other openings.

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The longtime food company is in the midst of separating into two companies, with the split targeted for later this month, and has decided to end its outlet store operations, said Sara Lee spokesman Mike Cummins.

The new bakery products and meats business, Hillshire Brands, "must remain focused on production and distribution of products and cannot direct the resources and attention required for success in stand-alone retail operations," Cummins said.

Suburban stores closing are at 2223 Ogden Ave. in Downers Grove; Park Place Fashion Centre in Palatine; 3760 W Dempster in Skokie; 100-102 N. Barrington Road in Streamwood.

Additional stores closing are in Oak Lawn, Homewood, Riverside and two in Chicago. Other stores closing are in Milwaukee, Wis., and Traverse City, Mich.

"The employees can apply for any job openings that Sara Lee currently has," Cummins said. "Benefits vary by employee, but Sara Lee will honor all commitments to employees."

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