Grocery chains coming to Barrington, Lake Zurich
BARRINGTON Monday Jul 30 2012 Barington development director Peg Blanchard and Village President Karen Darch show off the new grocery store Heinen's, being built in the Flint Creek Shopping Center. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
How do you choose where to shop for groceries?
Updated: September 3, 2012 1:01PM
BARRINGTON — Midwest-based grocery chains are steadily entering the Chicago metropolitan market, with one company debuting its first Illinois store in Barrington later this month.
A 38,000-square foot Heinen’s Fine Foods is scheduled to open its doors Aug. 22 at 500 N. Hough St. on the former site of Staples.
Barrington’s Director of Economic and Community Development Peg Blanchard first encountered the Cleveland-based, family-owned chain in 2007 during a trip to Ohio to watch her son play football. She immediately reached out to the company and later followed up with a broker to bring the food store to the village.
“I thought it would be a great attraction,” Blanchard said. “The fresh seafood, meat selection, and prepared meals are something a little different than (what are offered at) other stores.”
Plans to bring Heinen’s to the Land of Lincoln were set the past summer after Staples decided to close its Barrington location.
Heinen’s hired 110 local residents for the new store. Its general manager, Neal Farren, is relocating from Ohio.
“Traditionally we have done well in markets like Barrington,” said owner Tom Heinen, noting the company seeks places where consumers appreciate good customer service and quality products at a fair value.
Heinen’s currently has 17 locations in northeastern Ohio.
The newest grocery store is located on southern part of The Shops of Flint Creek, which Blanchard believes will add “vitality” to the shopping area.
“It was an opportunity for us to keep food-sales dollars in our community,” Blanchard said. “When sales-tax dollars leave, it’s because (shoppers) have a choice.”
Barrington is already home to a handful of small food stores and the Jewel-Osco on Main Street, which is located less than a half-mile from the new Heinen’s.
Blanchard doesn’t believe extra competition would be problematic for the grocery markets. If anything, another store is a boon to consumers.
“They will have two fine grocery stores in the community,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to offering another option,” Heinen added.
In Lake Zurich, where plans are in motion to construct a Mariano’s Fresh Market in 2013, the market for grocery goods is more crowded.
Walmart, ALDI, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Dominick’s all have locations within the village.
The Village Board approved plans for a 74,000-square-foot Mariano’s store on the northwest corner of Route 22 and Quentin Road on July 2. An economic incentive program is currently under review.
Planning Manager Vijay Gadde said Mariano’s is a unique food company that has been doing well, noting a rapid expansion across the Chicago area to meet the goal of opening five new stores a year.
“It’s a destination store that pulls customers from different geographic areas,” he said. “It has a more upbeat shopping experience versus the typical grocery store.”
Plus, Gadde said, the Dominick’s in Lake Zurich has been struggling for business.
The large grocery store chain had not done well in nearby Hoffman Estates, either – so much so that Mariano’s is replacing Dominick’s at the Hoffman Village Shopping Center at the end of the summer.
Village Director of Economic Development Gary Skoog said the store had been struggling for quite some time, despite having invested millions of dollars into the site three years prior to its closure.
Aware of the possibility that the shopping center at Barrington and Golf roads would be left nearly vacant with a Dominick’s departure, Skoog began looking for its replacement.
“I’m a person who like to have a backup plan,” he said.
The village and a broker for Roundy’s Supermarkets, the Milwaukee-based supermarket chain that owns Mariano’s, had been in discussions for two years before Dominick’s closed its Hoffman Estates site in January.
By March, Mariano’s had signed a 20-year lease to utilize the space. The new store is slated to open at the end of August.
“It’s been a phenomenal turnaround,” Skoog said. “It will help get other tenants and fill up that shopping center.”
Skoog said the village struck a deal with the owner of the Hoffman Village Shopping Center to provide a sales-tax incentive up to $750,000 a year over the next five years to support the new grocery store.
“The feeling is that we’ll get it back,” he said. “We think they’ll do well.”