Eisner and the downstate Jewel stores

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Eisner and the downstate Jewel stores

Postby pseudo3d » 20 Apr 2017 13:40

Years ago, when Jewel was an independent company (before ASC), they bought Eisner Food Stores out of Champaign, IL. It basically operated as a subsidiary of Jewel for years (separate division), even having a franchised "Eisner Agency" group. In 1981, however, Jewel rebranded its thirty two Eisner stores (22 Eisner-Osco and 10 traditional stores) to the Jewel name, with the franchised stores going with "Gateway" as their supplier after 1986 (what happened to them?) Wikipedia says that they pulled out of Champaign in the late 1990s (before Albertsons), and the last two stores (in Springfield) were sold off shortly after LLC took over (2777 S. Sixth Street and 1903 W. Monroe Street, those locations are operating as County Market). I can't imagine there was much competition for Jewel to pull out of downstate Illinois, it's not like at that point they were being run into the ground by a company that built and bought too much...

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Re: Eisner and the downstate Jewel stores

Postby wnetmacman » 20 Apr 2017 22:22

Eisner was based out of Champaign. Similar to Walgreens, you could franchise your own 'Eisner Agency' store. There were many of these in the smaller Central Illinois and Indiana towns, as Jewel had spread as far east as Indianapolis during the Turn Style days, combining them in a similar fashion as Jewel and Osco would be later.

By the time Eisner was small enough to eliminate the name, they were essentially in Springfield, Decatur, Bloomington/Normal, Champaign/Urbana and Danville. I remember going to the original Eisner at 443 N. Vermilion Street in Danville before it moved to the corner of Gilbert and Fairchild when we'd visit family there. It was a small, dirty-feeling store, but it had everything. That store later became a GM dealer, and is now vacant. The replacement Danville Jewel Osco actually lasted several years into Albertsons ownership.

Most of the J-O failure downstate was basically neglect. By the time they got down to the last few stores in the area, Walmart and Niemann Foods (County Market) had really taken better hold of the area and were doing a better job.

The Supervalu DC in Champaign was the old Eisner DC.

More information about Jewel's downstate stores are in this thread: http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=4150
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Re: Eisner and the downstate Jewel stores

Postby rich » 21 Apr 2017 17:14

Jewel kept the Eisner stores in Bloomington, Indiana well after they had departed Indy, although those stores were gone somewhere in the 90s. They had one store near IU that drew from the large Chicago diaspora related to the University--it was a somewhat neglected combo with Osco from the 70s; despite better perishables and pricing it didn't compete so well with a newer Kroger greenhouse. They built a store in the 80s on the "townie" side of Bloomington which did fairly well. It became a Marsh, but is something else now.

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