HAMMOND -- The Dominick's grocery store on 165th Street will apparently close
its doors less than seven months after its opening was touted as a cornerstone
of the city's efforts to boost business in the Woodmar Mall area.
An employee at the store, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that her
supervisor told her that Dominick's will be closing Aug. 25. Store personnel
attended a 9 a.m. meeting Tuesday where the closing was announced. The
employee, who was not present at the meeting, called the store to learn what
"A lady in customer service verified (Dominick's) is closing," the employee
About 300 people work at the store.
A manager at the store declined to comments and officials of Dominick's
regional office in Chicago did not return telephone messages seeking comment.
Mayor Duane Dedelow Jr. was out of town Tuesday and unavailable for comment.
"I cannot release the information I've got without talking to him," said Dennis
Terry, the mayor's chief of staff.
City Councilman McKinley Nutall, D-3rd, who represents the district around the
store, said he had heard rumors Tuesday about the store closing but "it was
from an unreliable source," he said. "I haven't had the chance to confirm it."
A grand-opening banner still flies over the Dominick's sign at the front of the
store at 1724 165th St. A walk through the store found no evidence of any
displays or products being removed.
The employee said Dominick's has offered to relocate every employee that would
be out of work with the closing. The closest stores to Hammond are in Calumet
City and Lansing. The Dominick's at U.S. 41 and 30 in Schererville closed in
January and more than 200 employees were offered transfers to the new Hammond
"We have to give them our first three choices in stores," the employee said.
"But they wouldn't guarantee us our first choice. I don't want to travel.
"It's just a shame. They didn't give the store much of a chance."
Dominick's opened its new Fresh Store on 165th Street just west of Woodmar Mall
on Jan. 28. The 90,000-square-foot food store, built on a portion of a 32-acre
parcel, received a $1.2 million property tax abatement over 10 years because
the city expected it to breathe life into the area and the mall, which has been
struggling with vacancies.
The grocery chain, a division of Pleasonton, Calif.,-based Safeway Inc., first
moved into Lake County in 1991 when it opened a warehouse-type, value-priced
Omni store in Schererville. That store was part of the conversion of 17 Omni
stores to the more upscale Dominick's Fresh Store in October 1997.
After 16 months in Schererville, Dominick's decided to abandon southern Lake
County for the Hammond location.
Times Staff Writer Dan Fields contributed to this report.