Jewel closing Niles store
Leo Wallack, of Niles, loads groceries into his car at the Jewel Osco along Golf Road on Feb. 8. The location is one of three that will be closed down. | Curtis Lehmkuhl—Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:22PM
Leo Wallack, of Niles, was busy loading bags of groceries into his vehicle at the Jewel-Osco at Four Flags Shopping Center on Friday afternoon.
Wallack, a senior citizen, said that he shops at that Jewel-Osco all the time because it is so convenient. But the days he’ll be able to shop there are numbered.
“I live right here,” said Wallack, who said that it was “terrible” news to hear that the store, which has been serving customers for 39 years, is closing its doors.
“I’ll probably go to Produce World or Walmart,” said Wallack, thinking about where he could shop instead of his favorite store.
The store announced on Feb. 6 that it will be closing the Niles store, located at 8203 W. Golf Rd. on April 5, as well as a store at 3940 E. 106th St. in Chicago. An Aurora store will close on Feb. 15.
Karen May, a spokeswoman for Jewel-Osco, explained in an email that “the closures are a business decision made by company leaders who opted not to renew the leases on the stores.” May said that the store leases have not yet expired, but all three are up this year. May stated that Supervalu, which owns Jewel-Osco, does not publicly break down the revenue of individual stores.
Niles Finance Director Scot Neukirch said the village can’t share specific store revenue information, due to a reciprocal agreement with the State of Illinois. However, he did say that the revenue generated at the Niles store that is closing was the lowest of the four Jewel stores in Niles.
Bill Schuman was also very disappointed to hear the news that the Jewel was closing up on Apr. 5
“It’s the only place we shop,” shared Schuman. “Where else will I go?”
Schuman said that he shops at the Jewel-Osco at the Four Flags Shopping Center every other day, and has his medical prescriptions with the store.
Fred Weinshenk, of Des Plaines, shared Schuman’s distaste.
“It kind of sucks that it’s closing,” Weinshenk said.
“My mom has been coming here for years and years,” said Weinshenk, who said he used to go to the store all the time when he lived closer. He said he still enjoyed shopping at that Jewel for certain items.
About 300 employees will be affected by closures at the three stores, but they will have the opportunity to transfer to other Jewel stores. The Niles store at Four Flags employed 102 workers.
The other Jewel stores in Niles are located at Dempster Street and Greenwood Avenue, Oakton Street and Milwaukee Avenue, and on Touhy Avenue in Village Crossing.
“The decision to close any store is difficult, because of the impact on the community,” a press release from Jewel-Osco explained. “However, given the competitive climate and today’s challenging economic environment, it is essential that Jewel-Osco carefully evaluate its business operations. During that process, the retailer may occasionally find it necessary to close stores that are not meeting company goals or do not fit Jewel-Osco’s current business strategy.”
Although the Jewel at Four Flags was one of the mall’s largest anchors, Village of Niles Director of Community Development Chuck Ostman said he’s not too concerned about the future of the mall.
“In our opinion, that mall has been very successful,” said Ostman. “We have other major anchors like Old Navy, Marshalls and Ashley Furniture. The center itself is pretty secure in regards to decent sized anchors.”