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Piggly Wiggly Coming to Buffalo Grove?

Crain's Chicago Business in a March 14th article by H. Lee Murphy is reporting that an old name in the local supermarket business — Piggly Wiggly — is expanding here once again after virtually disappearing in the 1990s.

The Butera family has struck a deal to buy a 62,000-square-foot Dominick's in Buffalo Grove and plans to convert the shuttered grocery store into a Piggly Wiggly, real estate sources said. It is the first Dominick's purchase by Elgin-based Butera Finer Foods Inc., which operates nine local groceries under the Butera Market name.

Yet the Buteras, who own the Chase Plaza shopping center surrounding the supermarket at 1160 W. Lake Cook Road, don't plan to convert the store into a Butera Market. Paul Butera Sr., chairman and president of the grocery chain, is turning it into a Piggly Wiggly as part of a larger push by the brand in the Chicago market.

Mr. Butera, who did not return calls, also is the owner and CEO of Sheboygan, Wis.-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest and an affiliate of Piggly Wiggly LLC of Keene, N.H. A year ago he struck a deal with the three-store Wisted's Supermarket Inc. chain in Marengo to convert all three to Piggly Wiggly. New Piggly Wiggly stores are under construction in Carol Stream and Beloit, Wis., and stores are already operating in Antioch, Zion and Genoa.

“Piggly Wiggly has been an impressive partner for us,” said Susanne Marsh, president of Wisted's, which is operating the stores as a franchisee. “The company is obviously in an expansion mode now."

Piggly Wiggly was familiar around Chicago in the 1950s through 1970s, but virtually all local stores were closed by the '90s, when the company pulled back to concentrate on the Wisconsin market, where it operates more than 100 stores today. A majority of its stores are franchised.

The Buteras also have a stake in the Eurofresh Markets in Palatine and Tinley Park. Bill Bishop, a supermarket consultant based in Barrington, said Paul Butera Sr. will pick and choose his brands as he rolls out more stores around metro Chicago.

“He has wonderful flexibility to choose the right brand for the right market,” Mr. Bishop said.

Piggly Wiggly has the advantage of its own wholesale warehousing in both Sheboygan and Milwaukee, so “Piggly Wiggly is likely to be acquiring its real estate cheaply here and with good economics they should do quite well around Chicago,” he said.

Jennifer Maltas, deputy village manager of Buffalo Grove, said the Chase Plaza Dominick's “is at a great location, right on Lake Cook Road with high traffic volumes. We did not expect it to stand empty long.”
Judi Graff March 21, 2014 at 10:10 AM
For those who feel that the new Piggly Wiggly is a step down? Well, a vacant store isn't exactly a step up either. I think some are reacting to the store name more than from actual purchasing knowledge. PW was a grocery staple in the South and I grew up with this store. I'm glad it's going in. When Dominick's left, I started shopping at Sunset. Love the place but the prices for everyday items is off the charts. The Jewel on McHenry and LCR is awful. The meat department smells, the vegetables are wilted and the aisles are so narrow you almost have to stroll sideways. I will most likely buy staples at PW and start going back to Dorfler's for meat.
Penny Novy March 21, 2014 at 10:29 PM
Pete Speer, I had a pastrami sandwich from Burt's today for lunch, but I forgot to ask for slices and not shaved. IT WAS GREAT, but a bit pricey. They let me sample the corned beef--I will go back next week for one of those.
Penny Novy March 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Judi Graff, I agree with you on the Jewel store. I drive out of my way to Mariano's in VH or Palatine to avoid going to Jewel. The Jewel in Libertyville is nicer than the one in BG.
livewirecs April 02, 2014 at 11:05 AM
A Butera employee has stated that Piggly Wiggly is going to make an effort to upscale the store to mesh with our commu nity. We will see.

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