Chesterton Tribune



Strack and Van Til's owner seeks to sell 22 Strack stores

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The parent company of Strack & Van Til--Central Grocers Inc., doing business as Centrella--is looking to sell most of Strack’s 32 stores in Indiana and Illinois.

“Central Grocers Inc. is working with legal and financial advisors toward implementing a sale of a majority of the Strack & Van Til stores as going concerns,” Strack & Van Til announced in a statement released on Tuesday.

“These 22 stores are expected to continue to operate and serve their communities on an ongoing basis,” Strack & Van Til added.

The announcement did not specify which 22 stores are on the block or whether the Chesterton location is one of them.

“As we move forward with this sale process, we are as committed as ever to providing our customers the highest-quality products and services and are working hard to make sure our customers are completely satisfied,” Strack & Van Till President and CEO Jeff Strack said.

“As a third-generation member of the company’s founding family, and a proud member of the Northwest Indiana community, I want to assure our customers and neighbors that we take pride in the responsibility we have to the communities we serve and live in,” Strack noted. “We thank our loyal customers for their ongoing support, and also thank our employees for their continued hard work and dedication.”

As part of the sale process, Strack & Van Til has begun closing nine underperforming Ultra Foods stores, two of them in Indiana and seven in Illinois. “We appreciate the great impact a store closure has on associates, customers, vendors, and the community, and our team is committed to minimizing that impact in every way we can,” Strack said.

Strack & Van Til currently operates 32 stores in Indiana and Illinois operating under the banner names of Strack & Van Til, Ultra Foods, and Town & Country Market.

Central Grocers Inc. is a retail cooperative--the seventh largest in the country--which supplies some 400 independent supermarkets in the Chicagoland area. According to its website, the co-op is “owned and democratically controlled” by its members, that is, by the supermarkets which use its services and purchase its goods. Central Grocers put its annual sales at $2 billion. The name of the prospective buyer of the Strack & Van Til stores has not been released.

In December 2012, Strack & Van Til purchased eight groceries owned by WiseWay Supermarkets, including WiseWay’s Chesterton location, at 1600 Pioneer Trail. Strack & Van Til immediately undertook a major remodeling of the former WiseWay, which opened in February 2005. That 60,000-square foot grocery nearly tripled the space of the old WiseWay grocery--formerly Costas Foods--located at Broadway and South Eighth Street.



Posted 4/19/2017





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