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The Chicago Tribune reports that Supervalu-owned Jewel-Osco has decided to abandon the Urban Fresh small store concept, featuring such items as gourmet fresh foods and organic produce, that it has been testing in the city’s Lincoln Park area.

According to the story, the store will close at the end of the month and the company has no plans to build any more.

The Tribune notes that at the time the store opened in September 2008, “Supervalu Chairman Jeff Noddle said the experiment would allow the company to expand into urban areas where real estate for larger stores is hard to find.”

But Noddle no longer is in charge at Supervalu, having been replaced by former Walmart executive Craig Herkert.
KC's View:
Maybe it was just a case of bad timing - the store did open, after all, right at the beginning of the recession.

On the other hand, this could be a bellwether of the kind of company Herkert plans on operating. This is not a criticism, just an observation ... one based on a number of conversations with people who probably would know.

I would have to believe that there is a place in upscale urban communities for stores like Urban Fresh; I’d been there, and I liked it. but maybe there just isn’t a place for it within the Supervalu community.

We’ll see.