In Chicago Will the Mighty Middle Retailers Survive?

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Excerpt by Ian Ritter, Read the Full Story

Chicago_ChicagoMattChicago is on the front lines when it comes to the struggles that middle-market grocery companies are facing, while competitors targeting consumers in both the lower- and upper-income brackets expand and flourish. At the end of last year, Dominick’s, a household supermarket name in the area, closed its 72 stores.

However, it hasn’t been all bad news for retail real estate landlords, Lew Kornberg, executive vice president and the national lead of the retail tenant representation practice at JLL  tells us. So far, only 28 vacancies remain, and a number of potential tenants are looking at those locations.

Among the chains that have taken up space are upscale grocers Whole Foods Market and Mariano’s, which are both looking for more Chicago-area exposure.

“While it’s never good to lose a major retailer, like a grocer of this size, the impact was mitigated, to some extent, by the net absorption of other grocers that opportunistically stepped up and took advantage of the hole created by the Dominick’s departure,” Kornberg says.

Supermarket chains aren’t the only outfits looking to fill these vacancies. Some theaters, fitness chains and other big-box retailers are also interested in the empty stores on a case by case basis depending on their size, Kornberg says.

To learn more about the Chicago retail market, and how the grocery sector is heating up in the full story on

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