Suburban Mariano’s among those to be sold in Kroger, Albertsons merger

Mariano’s in Arlington Heights, Palatine, Des Plaines, Lake Zurich and Wheaton are among the 35 Illinois grocery stores being sold by supermarket chains Kroger and Albertsons if their merger is approved, the companies announced Tuesday.

C&S Wholesale Grocers, a supplier to independent grocery stores and owner of a retail pharmacy and 23 supermarkets under the Piggly Wiggly and Grand Union banners, has agreed to acquire a total of 579 stores in a revised divestiture deal worth $2.9 billion.

Kroger is the parent company of Mariano’s, and Albertsons is the parent company of Jewel-Osco.

“Mariano’s has been a great amenity for the residents of Des Plaines,” said Jeff Rogers, director of community and economic development. “We look forward to working with Kroger, Albertsons, and C&S during this transition for continued success in the future.”

The potential impact to the communities where the grocer operates is unclear.

“Companies are bought out and new owners come in. We have that happen often. We welcome the new owner, and wish them the best as they operate the retail grocery store here in Wheaton,” City Manager Michael Dzugan said.

Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said there could be an impact inside the store.

“Are they going to change product lines? Are they going to try to upgrade?” he said.

He said when Kroger came in, the village heard complaints that the quality of the product had declined.

“Maybe this will be a positive and strengthen things again,” he said. “If anything, maybe it will spur a little bit of reinvestment in the store that hasn’t necessarily taken place over the last couple of years.”

As far as the village is concerned, the only public action that might be needed, he said, is the issuance of a new liquor license.

The Arlington Heights Mariano’s location, the former site of a Lattof Chevrolet, was the first of the chain grocer to open in the suburbs. Palatine was the second suburban store to open.

“This merger could impact up to 5,000 stores across the country,” said John Melaniphy, president of Chicago-based retail consultant Melaniphy & Associates Inc. “It appears that Kroger will divest itself of most of the Mariano’s stores across the suburbs. The first store opened in Arlington Heights with great interest.

“C&S Wholesale Grocers will likely sell off the stores individually to other regional grocery operations like Schnuck’s, Hy-Vee, Tony’s Fresh Market, Caputo’s, Pete’s Fresh Market, or Fresh Farms, among others,” Melaniphy said.

Mariano’s in Bloomingdale, Crystal Lake, Deerfield, Elmhurst, Gurnee, Lombard, Naperville and Vernon Hills also are among the stores being sold.

“Our understanding of that announcement is that, as it relates to the operation of the facility, at least here in Bloomingdale, is that it’s going to be maintained as a Mariano’s,” said Sean Gascoigne, the village's director of community and economic development.

Here’s the complete list of stores in Illinois to be sold:

Jewel-Osco — 12001 S. Pulaski Road, Alsip

Mariano’s — 802 E. Northwest Hwy., Arlington Heights

Mariano’s — 144 S. Gary Ave., Bloomingdale

Jewel-Osco — 87 W. 87th St., Chicago

Mariano’s — 3350 N. Western Ave., Chicago

Mariano’s — 5353 N. Elston Ave., Chicago

Mariano’s — 1800 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago

Mariano’s — 5201 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Mariano’s — 1500 N. Clybourn Ave., Suite 104, Chicago

Mariano’s — 3030 N. Broadway, Suite 100, Chicago

Mariano’s — 3857 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Chicago

Mariano’s — 105 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake

Mariano’s — 2999 Waukegan Road, Deerfield

Mariano’s — 10 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines

Mariano’s — 678 N. York St., Elmhurst

Mariano’s — 21001 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort

Mariano’s — 6655 Grand Ave., Gurnee

Jewel-Osco — 1537 N. Larkin Ave., Joliet

Mariano’s — 1350 E. Route 22, Lake Zurich

Mariano’s — 345 W. Roosevelt Ave., Lombard

Mariano’s — 1300 S. Naper Blvd., Naperville

Mariano’s — 784 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook

Mariano’s — 11000 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn

Mariano’s — 9504 142nd St., Orland Park

Mariano’s — 545 N. Hicks Road, Palatine

Jewel-Osco — 12803 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights

Mariano’s — 1900 S. Cumberland Ave., Park Ridge

Mariano’s — 950 Brook Forest Ave., Shorewood

Mariano’s — 3358 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie

Mariano’s — 1720 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills

Mariano's — 3020 Wolf Road, Westchester

Mariano’s — 4700 Gilbert Ave., Western Springs

Mariano’s — 150 W. 63rd St., Westmont

Mariano’s — 625 S. Main St., Wheaton

Mariano’s — 1822 Willow Road, Winnetka

Daily Herald wire services and staff writers Russell Lissau, Dave Oberhelman, Katlyn Smith, Steve Zalusky and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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