Mariano's Unlikely to Buy More Dominick's Stores

Bob Mariano: Dominick's Demise is "Bittersweet"

If you were hoping Mariano's Fresh Market still had plans to purchase a soon-to-be shuttered Dominick's in your neighborhood, you're probably out of luck.

Owner Bob Mariano tells NBC 5 that the 11 stores the company announced it will purchase on Monday will likely be the only stores it will acquire.

Mariano's has 13 stores in the Chicago area, including five in the city.

Mariano, the CEO, chairman and president of Roundy's Inc., spoke about the future roadmap for the grocery store chain at the ground breaking of Mariano's latest store near Clyborn and Halsted, a planned development scheduled to open in 2015 that will be its largest.

"Over the last three years we've added 5,000 jobs to this region," Mariano said. "Next year this time, we will have almost 10,000 employees, and we will add 5,000 people to our employee list all over the next year."

Mariano sits in a unique position when it comes to Safeway's decision to pull all Dominick's stores out of the Chicago market by the end of the year.

He was the president and CEO of Dominick’s grocery stores from 1995 to 1998, but in his current role as owner of Mariano’s supermarkets, he's led a successful expansion of the brand in the Chicago area just as his former employer is pulling out.

"I have mixed emotions. I spent 27 of my working years at Dominick's, and know a lot of the people and locations. I have a great number of memories," Mariano said. "To see an iconic name like Dominick's go away is bittersweet, but on the other hand, it created opportunities for us to go forward with the Mariano's brand to continue to employ more people and continue to grow."

Mariano said that existing Dominick's workers will have to apply for jobs at the new Mariano's stores.

Roundy's will take over five of the Dominick's stores in January and convert them to Mariano's stores within 30-45 days. Five other stores will convert over to Mariano's in early March, and the Westchester store will transition later in the year after a more extensive renovation.

According to Biz Journals, Roundy's initial projection of opening 30 Mariano’s stores in the Chicago area has been bumped up to as high as 50, based on the success of the chain.

Jewel-Osco has agreed to buy four Dominick's stores, and sources say Whole Foods is also considering buying seven Dominick's locations.

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