Unsold Dominick's stores to close around Dec. 28

CHICAGO – Grocery chain Dominick's says it will close all of its stores in the Chicago area that remain unsold around the end of December.

It notified employees of the plans in a letter this week, and the company confirmed in a statement that it expects to close all unsold stores "on or about" Dec. 28.

The grocer's parent company, Safeway, announced on Oct. 10 that it was exiting the Chicago market by early 2014 to focus on more profitable business. It has Dominick's stores in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills and Fox River Grove.

Only four of the 72 Dominick's stores it has operated in the Chicago area have been sold so far. They were bought by New Albertsons, which owns Jewel-Osco.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the company's letter informed employees that the closures of unsold stores are "expected to be permanent."