Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

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rwsandiego
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Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by rwsandiego » May 11th, 2019, 9:08 am

In Chicago, "Jewel" is synonymous with "supermarket." However, the area also has a thriving independent grocery scene. The Chicago Tribune profiles one of them, woman-owned Pete's Fresh Markets. Here's a link to the article.

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Re: Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by storewanderer » May 12th, 2019, 8:52 pm

I often wonder how chains like this can present such a vast variety and quantity of fresh products as the larger chains struggle to even offer significantly less fresh variety.

Chicago has a lot of small operators really trying, and between the demise of Dominicks and various other closures over the years, a lot of opportunities have been created for them to expand.

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Re: Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by rwsandiego » May 13th, 2019, 8:57 pm

storewanderer wrote:
May 12th, 2019, 8:52 pm
I often wonder how chains like this can present such a vast variety and quantity of fresh products as the larger chains struggle to even offer significantly less fresh variety.

Chicago has a lot of small operators really trying, and between the demise of Dominicks and various other closures over the years, a lot of opportunities have been created for them to expand.
I think it is the result of a few factors:
  • It is easier to buy for one to ten stores than it is to buy for a hundred or more
  • Many, not all, do not have the same marketing and advertising costs
  • Customers expect a level of uniformity from chains that they don’t expect from small operators
  • In Chicago I really think Jewel is held to a higher standard. What people rave about at Pete’s would get returned to Jewel.
You are right about the small operators. When National pulled out in the 1970s, A&P took the more modern stores (relatively speaking) and the rest went to independents. When A&P pulled out all the locations that remained grocery stores went to independents because they were too small, unkept, and outmoded for Jewel and Dominick’s. By the time Dominick’s was folded almost all of their stores were big and modern, which allowed the produce- and deli-focused operators to open big, modern stores that could effectively compete with Jewel. There have been casualties. Joe Caputo closed most of their locations, but for the most part the others have remained in business.

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Re: Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by buckguy » May 15th, 2019, 1:31 pm

Quite a few of the more viable A&Ps went to independents like Butera. I lived near one of their stores that easily could have replaced two small Jewels or a much smaller Dominick's (which was a former Kroger). The smaller Nationals, at least in Chicago proper, seemed to become Walgreen's

Pete's has an array of locations that vary a lot in terms of SES, which is interesting. I would think that the gap to be filled would be the one left by Treasure Island. their original store in Lakeview competed successfully with Dominicks and Jewel stores that were within walking distance. Whole Foods probably took some of their old market share, although a chain with local knowledge and a more uniformly high standard than Whole Foods (inconsistent in the deli/bakery, uses the same vendors as others for most of the produce) could probably do well.

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Re: Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by SamSpade » May 15th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Ok, I don't know the industry jargon SES. But otherwise, fascinating.

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Re: Pete's Fresh Markets in Chicago

Post by rwsandiego » May 15th, 2019, 3:48 pm

buckguy wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 1:31 pm
Quite a few of the more viable A&Ps went to independents like Butera. I lived near one of their stores that easily could have replaced two small Jewels or a much smaller Dominick's (which was a former Kroger). The smaller Nationals, at least in Chicago proper, seemed to become Walgreen's

Pete's has an array of locations that vary a lot in terms of SES, which is interesting. I would think that the gap to be filled would be the one left by Treasure Island. their original store in Lakeview competed successfully with Dominicks and Jewel stores that were within walking distance. Whole Foods probably took some of their old market share, although a chain with local knowledge and a more uniformly high standard than Whole Foods (inconsistent in the deli/bakery, uses the same vendors as others for most of the produce) could probably do well.
It sounds like you lived on the NW side or in Harwood Hts/Norridge. If not, I’d like to know where the other two large National/A&Ps were. There were two Nationals that became A&P and later Butera. The one in Harwood Hts (Gunnison and Nagle) was pretty new when it became A&P and was beautiful. It was larger than the nearby Dominick’s on Higgins and Foster, but that store closed in the late 70’s/early 80’s after it moved to Nagle and Milwaukee. The Nagle/Milwaukee location was a Butera/former National that was added onto to become a Walgreens and Dominick’s.

The other was on Lawrence and Cumberland in Norridge. When A&P took that store they closed their Centennial store on Lawrence and Ozanam. Those were two of the few large National/A&Ps. Another one was near Edens Plaza in Wilmette and there was also a large National on the Evanston/Skokie line next to a Jewel. The stores were combined into a very large Marshall’s or TJMaxx.

Interestingly, the Norridge Butera moved to the former Eagle at Cumberland and Montrose. Even by Butera’s “standards” it was pretty grungy.

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