Urban Fresh, by Jewel'

Another smaller-format grocery contender emerges to encroach on convenience channel

MELROSE PARK, Ill. -- Jewel-Osco, a leading Midwest food and drug retailer, said that it will open a 16,000-square-foot store in Chicago's Lincoln Park community. The "Urban Fresh, by Jewel" store is scheduled to open this fall and is designed as "a specialty grocery store catering to the unique shopping needs of busy, on-the-go professionals and time-sensitive commuters." The move follows a trend in the supermarket industry toward downsized, smaller-format "convenience"-type stores such as Trader Joes, but especially like Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets and Wal-Mart's [image-nocss] Marketside.

One of the store's key offerings will be a variety of ready-to-go meal solutions, ranging from gourmet sandwiches to dinner entrees. The store will carry produce and organic offerings, as well as a selection of fresh meats and seafood.

"The smaller-format store is an exciting complement to our larger, more traditional grocery stores," said Keith Nielsen, president of Jewel-Osco. "We hope to learn as much as possible from the effort, paying close attention to customer feedback, so we can deliver the best experience for our shoppers."

"The store will be a welcomed addition to the community," said Alderman Scott Waguespack. "Everyone is pressed for time these days and the store will make life a little easier for our residents."

Melrose Park, Ill.-based Jewel-Osco, which operates 32 grocery stores in Chicago, is the second-largest private employer in Illinois, with more than 36,000 employees. Jewel-Osco, a SUPERVALU company, operates 183 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. With a market-leading position in Chicago, Jewel-Osco stores offer consumers the convenience of combined grocery and pharmacy retail, in addition to services such as fuel centers at select locations.

SUPERVALU Inc. is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $44 billion. It holds leading U.S. market share positions with its approximately 2,475 retail grocery locations. Through SUPERVALU's nationwide supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery endpoints across the country.