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Joliet’s Central Grocers selling Strack & Van Til stores to Jewel

5/15/2017, 1:33 p.m.
Central Grocers announced today that it has agreed to sell 19 of its Strack & Van Til grocery stores in ...

Central Grocers announced today that it has agreed to sell 19 of its Strack & Van Til grocery stores in Indiana to Jewel Foods Stores Inc. according to a press release.

“The 19 stores will be sold as going concerns,” read the statement. Current Strack & Van Til employees will be interviewed and be offered jobs with the “substantially all of the employees of the stores that are part of the transaction” according to the relase.

Meanwhile, Central Grocers “is continuing to evaluate proposals to acquire its state-of-the-art, 1,000,000 square foot distribution center in Joliet, Illinois, and its six additional Raceway real estate assets as it winds down its wholesale distribution operations.”

The statement notes that three Ultra Food stores not included in the deal will continue to operate as it continues “to pursue a sale of those assets.”

The grocery chain announced the closing of 9 Ultra Foods stores around the Chicagoland area in April, including the 1590 N. Larkin location in Joliet.

That was followed soon after by a federal lawsuit filed by Teamsters Local 703 to block the sale. The union represents approximately 300 employees at the warehouse location at 2600 West Haven Avenue. That suit was later withdrawn following an agreement worked out with the union.

According to the company’s website, the Joliet co-op was founded in 1917 and has grown to be the 7th largest grocery supplier in the U.S.

The company has had past annual sales of up to $2 billion during its 94-year history supplying up to 400 stores including Strack & Van Til, Ultra Foods and Tony’s Finer Foods.

In addition to the loss of approximately 300 jobs at its warehouse, another 100 jobs will be lost following the closure of the Larkin Ave. Ultra Foods store which is expected to shutter its operations in June.

According to the press release, a bankruptcy hearing is set for June 2.