Central Grocers Selling Strack & Van Til, Closing Nine Ultra Foods Stores


Twenty-two Strack & Van Til stores will be sold and nine Ultra Foods locations closed.

The Northwest Indiana Times reports that parent company Central Grocers, based in Joliet, Illinois, is working toward a sale. The plan is to sell the 22 stores as “going concerns,” Strack & Van Til President and CEO Jeff Strack said in a letter to employees quoted by the Times.

“Today (April 18) we announce our parent company, Central Grocers, is working with advisors toward implementing a sale of the majority of Strack & Van Til stores,” Strack wrote. “While we don’t yet have a signed deal, the proposed transaction calls for 22 stores to be sold as going concerns, which means they would continue to operate and we expect the buyer would offer employment opportunities to most of the stores’ current personnel.”

The Ultra Foods stores that will close are located in Gary and Merrillville, Indiana, and Lansing, Crestwood, Wheaton, Joliet, Chicago Heights, Calumet Park and Forest Park, Illinois, the Times reports.

In March, Strack & Van Til announced the closure of five other stores—two Strack & Van Til locations and three Ultra Foods stores, most located in the Chicago area.

Going by locations listed on its website, the most recent closings would leave just two remaining Ultra Foods stores: one in Kankakee, Illinois, and the other in Highland, Indiana, where Strack & Van Til is based.

About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.


  1. Pete Mita

    So sad, but not unbelievable given the poor management decisions by the leaders of Central Grocers

  2. Don Seehausen

    Will Paul Butera, CEO OF piggly Wiggly Midwest, enter the bidding for acquiring Central Grocers Cooperative? Paul has the resources and relationships to make things happen. Thirst are interesting times for the Independent Retailer Supply Chain in Chicagoland. Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) headquartered in Kansas City, recently merged with Affiliated Wholesale Grocers headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. Affiliated has a large distribution center in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Independants are being challenged like never before by supercenters such as Walmart, Meijers, and Target. BIG Box retailers are given an unfair advantage over independent family owned and operated retailers. Community banks were essential in that they provided lines of credit and long-term loans to small businesses; that’s a thing of the past thanks to our federal regulators. America had better wake up, it won’t be long before there will be no competition. Competition creates better paying wages, lower prices for consumers, and supports community organizations. Please support your local independent family run businesses!

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