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Arlington Heights Dominick’s: Grocers Prime Strategic Location, or High Risk — Market-Saturated Spot to Avoid?

Wed December 04 2013 7:12 am
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So far no grocers have stepped forward publicly to claim an interest in the Arlington Heights Dominick’s at 325 East Palatine Road. The Arlington Heights store was one of the first Dominick’s stores that was upgraded with a new “Fresh Store” concept and new features under direction of Bob Mariano in the 1990s, Those features now distinguish Mariano’s Fresh Market with Bob Mariano the CEO of Mariano’s Fresh Market.

Since Mariano’s opened the first store in Arlington Heights at the site of closed Chevy dealership, Lattof Chevrolet in July 2010, it took only 3.5 years to be a major factor in the demise of Dominick’s.

Whole Foods Market has some loyal Schaumburg fans, and in turn the WF Schaumburg store bonds with the Schaumburg community.

The Arlington Heights Dominick’s is in a location that is saturated with grocers: Trader Joe’s, Harvest Fresh and Jewel-Osco immediately to the west and north; and Aldi’s and a new Ultra store (just about to open south of John Hersey High School) to the east.

Even with market saturation, the triangle of Arlington Heights, Palatine Road and Rand Road is a high traffic area. The Arlington Heights store has to have been at least a consideration for Caputo’s, Mariano’s, and Whole Foods.

Mariano’s store on Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights is frequently overcrowded, and often runs out of inventory, but most people never thought Mariano’s would consider the Arlington Heights Dominick’s because it would be too close to the other Arlington Heights store. However, if Ultra is a strong draw, and Hersey High School parents like the convenience, Mariano’s could take a huge hit and loss of market share to Ultra Foods. If Whole Foods Market would move in to the Arlington Heights Dominick’s, the first Mariano’s store would really take a hit from the pincers of Ultra and Whole Foods Market.

Caputo’s is another grocer that could be interested, but the store is not as unique as Whole Foods Market, and doesn’t have a market to protect like Mariano’s does.

Many residents in Arlington Heights would love to see a Whole Foods Market in Arlington Heights. When the Palatine store moved to the Deer Park locationd, that left many Arlington Heights residents wanting a Whole Foods Market in their own town. The demographics seem to be a perfect match with Arlington Heights residents — and the Whole Foods Market stores in Schaumburg and Deer Park are a little far for northwest suburban traffic conditions.

So is the Arlington Heights Dominick’s a strategic location or a high risk location because of market saturation? Should Mariano’s and Whole Foods Market be fighting for that spot, or running from it. Apparently, so far they are running from it, or maybe they’re holding their poker cards close — knowing that the Arlington Heights store is a key location.

Mariano’s Fresh Market parent company, Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Inc. announced Monday that it will convert the following Dominick’s stores into Mariano’s:
• Park Ridge: 1900 S. Cumberland Ave.
• Western Springs: No. 14 Garden Market St.
• Chicago: 3145 S. Ashland Ave.
• Chicago: 2021 W. Chicago Ave.
• Northfield: 1822 Willow Road
• Westchester: 3020 S. Wolf Road
• Buffalo Grove: 450 Half Day Road
• Chicago: 5201 N. Sheridan Road
• Gurnee: 6655 Grand Ave.
• Aurora: 3025 E. New York St.
• Shorewood: 950 Brook Forest Ave.

Mariano’s currently has 13 Chicagoland locations.

Whole Foods is believed to be working on an agreement to obtain the following Dominick’s locations:
• Chicago: 255 E. Grand Ave.
• Chicago: 1 N. Halsted St.
• Chicago: 6009 N. Broadway St.
• Chicago: 959 W. Fullerton Ave.
• Evanston: 2748 Green Bay Road
• Elmhurst: 215 S. Route 83
• Willowbrook: 6300 S. Robert Kingery Hwy. Whole Foods Market would close its existing Willowbrook store and move it into this Dominick’s.

Whole Foods Market currently has 19 Chicagoland locations.

The lack of public interest in the Arlington Heights Dominick’s store leads to pondering … why is Prospect Crossing shopping center in Prospect Heights — home to the new Ultra Foods and Home Bar — fully occupied, while Southpoint in Arlington Heights, just a few blocks west, has a blight attack?

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