Friday, July 6, 2007

Jewel's Stores Within Stores

Jewel was one of the early proponents of the "store within a store" concept. Starting around 1960, they implemented this new form of departmentalized shopping in all of their new stores and retrofitted the concept in their existing higher volume stores. The departments all had a theme designed to convey the feel of an individual storefront.

The initial "stores within stores" were "Jewel Pastries" (frozen cakes and other baked goods) the "Sausage Shop" (deli meats) and the "Patio Food Shop" (pre-prepared foods including potato salad, barbeque, fried chicken, etc.), along with traditional standard departments - dairy, produce, meats and the like. Later on came "Pier 14" (seafood). The Patio Food Shop was later renamed "Chef's Kitchen".

These photos are from the Oakbrook, Illinois Jewel, which was located next to the famous Oakbrook Center Mall and featured an exterior design by the same architect as the mall. They were taken in 1962, shortly after the store's opening. This was a special store designed for an upscale clientele and featured the chain's first liquor department. Pictured here are several of the "stores within a store" along with the main entrance.


  1. Jewel was an early pioneer in what would come to be known as superstores with these "stores within a store" designs. Jewel quickly moved to the food-drug combination store after acquiring Osco Drugs, becoming a leader in this grocery format as well. Oddly Jewel never fared well beyond its Chicago turf-downstate Eisner languished with remaining stores taking the Jewel banner in the mid-80's. Jewel retreated from Milwaukee and southwest Michigan during the 70's and 80's, and a expansion into central Indiana during the 70's failed to gain any traction. Today the SuperValue owned chain it primarily focused on Chicagoland in upper Illinois and northwest Indiana and is again retreating from Milwaukee after a less successful attempt to re-enter the region in the mid-90's.
    Jewel's lead over Dominick's has grown greatly during this decade as Jewel kept its regional autonomy under Albertson's and Safeway ownership while Safeway has "Safewayized" the Dominick's and closed many units

  2. I agree. For all of Jewel's success in the Chicago area, they've had difficulty duplicating it in the adjoining markets.

    I think Safeway is on the right track with the "lifestyle" format. The sad thing to me is that they are just now getting back to where Dominick's (store-wise, not market share wise)was when they bought them. The "Fresh Store" format had it all, and was scrapped,a costly decision in terms of market share they will have a tough time earning back. It's very encouraging to see Safeway more attuned to the Chicago market. The hard lessons seem to have been learned.