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Crain’s Chicago Business reports that a new study by Mid-America Real Estate Corp. reveals that “Chicago’s food deserts are getting more aisles of groceries, with square footage increasing 11% over the past two years. But these areas remain underserved,” the study says.

According to the story, “Mid-America’s study, which surveyed the entire Chicago area’s grocery scene, also found that while the number of food retailers in the city and surrounding suburbs increased 8.8% since 2009, the jump was largely due to discount and premium-priced players rather than traditional grocers.”

And, Crain’s goes on: “Discount stores ... significantly increased their presence, tacking on 19 stores for a 28% jump in overall square footage. The expansion was led by Batavia-based Aldi Inc., which opened six stores and planned to open three more in 2011, and Save-a-Lot of Earth City, Mo., which added four locations with plans for another five this year. In addition, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s plans a slew of new, smaller-format stores that stock mostly food.

“The number of full-service grocers such as Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco, meanwhile, lost ground, posting six fewer stores and 2.5% less square footage this year vs. 2009.”
KC's View:
Increasingly, Chicago looks like it is going to be a hotbed of supermarket competition over the next few years. It is going to be fun to watch and write about...