Heinen's Fine Foods said Tuesday that it has leased a 62,000-square-foot anchor store at Bannockburn Green shopping center in Bannockburn, joining other grocers planning expansions around the suburbs.
The Bannockburn store will undergo some renovation, so its opening date has not yet been scheduled. Heinen's will join Walgreens, Erehwon Mountain Outfitters, Sleepy's, Panera Bread and GNC at the shopping center.
Heinen's also plans to open a store in Glenview in mid-May. A Heinen's in Barrington has been open since 2012, said co-owner Jeff Heinen, grandson of the founder.
"The stores in Glenview and Bannockburn are just the natural progression of growing our business in the Chicago area," said Jeff Heinen.
Heinen's expansion is happening at a time when stiff competitors Mariano's, Whole Foods and others also are expanding around the suburbs to fill the gap since Dominick's Finer Foods left the market in December.
In terms of competition, the grocery market has been and still is very competitive, Jeff Heinen said.
"We believe doing things differently like knowing the sources of the produce and meat we sell, selling fresh seafood flown in by FedEx, having high quality fresh-prepared food items are not what everybody else does. We believe there is a place for us in the market," Heinen said.
Heinen faces the challenge of changing customer loyalty away from a competitor, said Naperville resident David Aron, chairman of the undergraduate business programs at Brennan School of Business at Dominican University in River Forest.
"You were a Jewel or a Dominick's family for such a long time, or maybe now Whole Foods or Trader Joe's," said Aron. "With Dominick's gone and Jewel stores generally next to or across the street from the former Dominick's stores, you'd think Jewel has a big advantage. They do, because their name is well known and locations are convenient. But Jewel is also known to former Dominick's shoppers as the store that they didn't shop at. This is where Heinen's, Mariano's, and even Piggly Wiggly stand to gain."
Heinen's Fine Foods was founded in 1929 on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, and has 17 stores in that state.
The new stores will bring the Illinois total to three, and Heinen said company officials are keeping an eye out for more sites.
In August 2012, Heinen's opened at 500 N. Hough St. in Barrington, The 38,000-square-foot store, formerly occupied by Staples, brought about 80 jobs to the suburb.
Los Angeles-based CBRE Group worked on the lease for Heinen's and leases the property at Bannockburn Green.
"Heinen's has a great track record and is a great fit for the upscale demographics of Bannockburn," said Joe Parrott, senior vice president of CBRE Group.