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Chicago’s H Mart stocked heavy in Korean bliss

Supermarket News toured three very different Chicago stores

Last week, I had the opportunity to tour grocery stores in the city of Chicago and the range could not be more dynamic.

First stop was Potash Market, a small neighborhood store right on State Street in the city’s downtown. This family-run business has been serving Chicago since the 1960s and the one on State is one of three stores. I was surprised to see self-checkout because typically independent grocers like to keep a solid relationship between the cashier and the shoppers. Shoppers were using both when I went through.

Second stop was a Fresh Market Place on Western Avenue on the northwest side, which first opened in 2013. This was a more traditional looking store floor that did not have any self-checkout and had dedicated an entire aisle to pasta and sauce. The butcher shop was also quite impressive.

The final stop was an H Mart on Jackson Boulevard in the city’s Loop. H Mart is an Asian grocery store chain, and this location opened back in 2018. This grocery store was impressive — it offered a live seafood section that had a variety I have not seen before (it was basically a Korean market), and the grab-and-go sections were well-placed and a popular area for shoppers. Two restaurants and a bakery also were part of the footprint. H Mart does not own them but does receive a commission on sales.

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