Piggly Wiggly to push into Chicago

Piggly Wiggly will soon make its return to Chicago in the wake of Safeway's exit, adding one more competitive element to the third largest U.S. metropolitan market.

The store is expected to be the start of a larger push to return the brand to the Chicago area. Piggly Wiggly operates just eight stores in Illinois.

A former Dominick's location will be converted into a Piggly Wiggly, according to Crain's Chicago Business. It would mark the return of a chain that exited the area in the 1990s after closing all of its Chicago-area locations.

Elgin, Ill.-based Butera Finer Foods, owner of the Piggly Wiggly chain, has reportedly purchased the former Dominick's site but will become a Piggly Wiggly, rather than a Butera-branded store. Paul Butera Sr., chairman and president of the grocery chain, last year struck a deal to convert the Wisted's supermarket chain into Piggly Wiggly stores. Butera family owns the balance of the Chase Plaza in which the Dominick's store is located.

Speculation of the Piggly Wiggly takeover comes on the heels of several shakeups within the grocery industry. On Mar. 7, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said it would combine Safeway and Albertsons. In October, Kroger outbid Cerberus to acquire Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion just months after Cerberus bought about 900 Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores from Supervalu for $3.3 billion.

Roundy's has also marked Chicago for expansion, snapping up 11 former Dominick's stores for its Mariano's Fresh Market chain. Whole Foods and Albertson's-owned Jewel-Osco have also taken vacated Dominick's sites.

For more:
-See this Chicago Business article

Related stories:
Safeway stock rallies on buyout rumors; debt concerns rise
Investors happy about Safeway shedding Dominick's
Safeway Canada sells out to Sobey's for $5.7 billion
Whole Foods confirms plan to buy 7 former Dominick's stores in Chicago
Safeway will pay $600K for pollution violations

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