GROCERY: Northwest Indiana market stable, but Illinois shoppers more demanding

Times Board of Economists - Report from Dave Wilkinson, president Strack & Van Til
2014-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-02-02T00:05:54Z GROCERY: Northwest Indiana market stable, but Illinois shoppers more demandingJoseph S. Pete, (219) 933-3316
February 02, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Stack & Van Til president Dave Wilkinson said grocery stores have been doing well, but depend on a healthy economy.

"Everyone shops differently, and they know where to find a value," he said. "They want to save money. You have to pay rent and pay taxes. When you need to save money, your food bill gets cut."

Half the Strack & Van Til supermarkets are in Northwest Indiana, which has been a stable market. The other half are in Illinois, where people tend to be earlier adopters of new trends and have been wanting more fresh, healthy food, Wilkinson said.

Dominick's closed 72 stores throughout the Chicagoland area, only about 30 of those locations have been bought by other grocers. Wilkinson estimates as many as 35 or 40 could remain unoccupied.

A Whole Foods in Schererville may raise the bar for healthy, organic food in Northwest Indiana, Wilkinson said. Strack & Van Til has been stocking more of those products in recent years.

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