CHICAGO — The office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel here has formed a task force to try to find buyers for any Dominick's locations still vacant after Safeway exits the market late this month, according to local reports.
Safeway said in late October it will shut down any unsold stores here by Dec. 28. Of the 72 Dominick's stores, four have been sold to Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, parent company of Jewel-Osco, and 11 to Mariano's, a division of Roundy's Supermarkets, Milwaukee.
According to a statement from Emanuel quoted in the Chicago Tribune, "It is essential as we go through this transition that we do all we can to ensure these stores are returned to active use so we can minimize impact on food access in our communities and ensure these economic anchors continue to benefit our neighborhoods. It is also critical that we do whatever we can to support the workers at these stores and their families."
The reports said Deputy Mayor Steve Koch will head the task force, which will include representatives from the City Council, labor, city departments and industry experts. The task force will focus on the economic impact of store closings; ensure access to fresh produce in key areas of the city; and protect and support workers affected by the closings "in any fashion possible," according to the published reports.
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