Jewel-Osco operates about 185 combination food-and-drug stores mostly in Illinois, but also in Indiana, and Iowa. The regional chain is the largest seller of groceries in Chicago, with more than 30 stores there and a 30% share of the market. The company also runs about 30 fuel centers. Started as the Jewel Tea Company in 1899 and long accustomed to being #1 in a two-company market, Jewel-Osco is fighting to stay on top of an increasingly crowded Chicago grocery scene. Jewel-Osco is owned by an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, which acquired the grocery chain from SUPERVALU in 2013.
Jewel-Osco (along with four other grocery chains) was bought by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in January 2013 from grocery wholesaler SUPERVALU. SUPERVALU purchased Jewel-Osco in 2006 as part of its purchase of more than 1,100 stores from Albertson's. (Albertsons acquired Jewel when it bought American Stores in 1999.) Jewel-Osco is now part of New Albertsons Inc., a division of Boise, Idaho-based AB Acquisition LLC, which is owned by an investor consortium led by Cerberus.
Itasca, Illinois-based Jewel-Osco operates about 185 supermarkets. The vast majority are in Illinois, with a handful in Indiana and a single store in Iowa.
The chain's new owner is investing about $100 million in new projects and remodels for Jewel-Osco in 2014. The company has purchased nine old Dominick’s locations. Jewel-Osco also completed 18 remodels of its own stores in December 2013 and has more than 25 remodels planned for 2014. While there's no shortage of challengers for Jewel-Osco's top spot in Chicago, the company got a break of sorts with the demise of rival Dominick's Finer Foods. (Dominick's owner Safeway has exited the Chicago market with the sale and closure of its Dominick's stores there.) Other grocery chains capitalizing on the demise of Dominick's include Chicago newcomer Roundys, which will reopen a dozen stores it purchased under its new Mariano's banner. Chicago has become an magnet for grocery companies looking to expand. Relative newcomers include Wal-Mart Stores, which has announced plans to open several dozen of its supercenters in the area through 2015, and Roundys. Grocery-and-general-merchandise-giant Meijer is also very active in and around Chicago, as is Whole Foods.
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