Caputo closes Arlington Hts. and Northbrook stores, plans Elk Grove opening
Less than two years after acquiring use of four former Dominick's stores, Joe Caputo & Sons has closed two of those locations -- in Arlington Heights and Northbrook, officials confirmed Friday.
Meanwhile, the independent grocer is focusing its efforts on opening a long-awaited store in Elk Grove Village, also a former Dominick's location, owner Nat Caputo said Friday.
The independent grocery chain, which still has locations in Des Plaines, Palatine and Algonquin, opened stores at 4125 Dundee Road in Northbrook in May 2014 and at 325 E. Palatine Road in Arlington Heights in June 2014.
A store manager in Des Plaines said Friday those two stores closed recently because business wasn't good.
Caputo's sublease for the Arlington Heights store was due to expire at the end of the year, according to Charles Witherington-Perkins, Arlington Heights' director of planning and community development.
"In discussions with the property owner, they were surprised Caputo closed before the end of the lease term," he said.
Caputo's sublease was with Safeway, the former Dominick's owner, which merged with Jewel-Osco parent company Albertson's last year. Safeway had a long-term lease for the store, with options for multiple five-year extensions, one of which was recently agreed to, Witherington-Perkins said.
He said Safeway has retained a real estate brokerage firm to market and attempt to lease out the 50,000-square-foot space.
Getting another grocery store to move into the location could be difficult, he said, since a Jewel store is located in the nearby Northpoint shopping center on Rand Road.
"We would obviously like to see a strong retailer at that location," Witherington-Perkins said. "The ideal type of tenant would be a grocery store because they bring in repeated traffic every day and it's good business for the rest of the tenants in that center. The grocery business is especially competitive in the Chicago market."
Caputo's Facebook page posted an announcement this week that positions are available for the still-to-come Elk Grove location, including cashiers, and workers in customer service, cafe, bakery, deli, grocery, meat, fish, liquor, flower shop, hot foods, chef and produce departments.
The Des Plaines store manager said officials are hoping to open the Elk Grove store before Thanksgiving, but are still working on interior improvements to the 72,000-square-foot space at 980 Elk Grove Town Center.
The opening date has been pushed back for at least a year, due at least in part to problems with the old Dominick's cooling system, Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson has said.
Store officials thought they would be able to salvage the old system, but later found that they couldn't.
After the Elk Grove store opens, the grocer eventually plans to move its original 10,000-square-foot store from 959 E. Oakton St. down the block to a larger 60,000-square-foot location at 1555 Lee St. in Des Plaines. That store, a former Dominick's, is located at The Oaks Shopping Center, which is owned by Caputo.