Safeway to dispose of Dominick’s stores and exit Chicago market

Pleasanton, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. announced it plans to get rid of its 72 Dominick's stores in the Chicago area, exiting the market in early 2014.

Safeway’s decision comes after Dominick's had a net loss of $8.4 million for the third quarter, ended Sept. 7, compared with a loss of $6.2 million in the year-ago period, and a net loss of $21.5 million for the year to date, compared with $16.8 million for the year- ago period.

"The decision to sell Canada Safeway and to exit the Chicago market is consistent with Safeway's priority of maximizing shareholder value," said Robert Edwards, president and CEO. "These actions will allow us to focus on improving and strengthening our core grocery business. We are continuing to review all of our businesses to optimize our allocation of resources, improve sales and grow operating profits."

Leaving Chicago is the latest strategic move for Safeway. In June 2013, the company announced that it entered into an agreement to sell its Canadian operations through a sale of substantially all of the net assets of CSL to Sobeys Inc., a Canadian food retailer and wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited.

Safeway bought Dominick's in 1998 for about $1.2 billion plus debt.