Wild Oats brought People’s Market to Evanston, Supervalu just premiered Sunflower in Lincoln Park; Chicago’s underserved natural foods segment seems to be quite popular with small-city companies looking to test new concepts in the big city.
H. Lee Murphy at Crain’s Chicago Business reports:
bq. Roundy’s Inc. of Milwaukee, which operates 143 supermarkets in Wisconsin, plans to bring an upscale grocery concept called Metro Market to Chicago next year, sources say. “We’re in a growth mode and looking to expand,” a Roundy’s spokeswoman says.
Metro Market’s one 53,000 square foot location is on the east side (near north?) of Milwaukee. I stopped by (wholly incidentally) last year and don’t remember anything in particular; the press release description sounds promising but still quite Wisconsin specific (a dozen varieties of sausage made on the premises daily, adult-sized cupcakes, pierogies and a Friday fish fry with rye bread). Interestingly, Bob Mariano, current CEO of Roundy’s, was head of Dominick’s before its sale to Safeway.
Supervalu describes Sunflower as “efficient” and “convenient”; one of its most promising features is is compact footprint: 8-12,000 SKUs in 12-15,000 square feet.