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Dominick's parent company plans to exit Chicago market

The parent company of grocery chain Dominick's announced Thursday that it plans to leave the Chicago area market by next year.

Safeway Inc., which operates 72 Dominick's stores in the Chicago area, did not say whether it plans to sell or close the Dominick's stores.

The decision came after its chain of Dominick's stores lost $35.2 million in the first three quarters of 2013.
Safeway said in a press release that it plans to save $400 and $450 million by the move, which it will use to buy back stock and invest in other "growth opportunities."

Safeway is also selling its Canadian business.

"The decision to sell Canada Safeway and to exit the Chicago market is consistent with Safeway's priority of maximizing shareholder value," Safeway President and CEO Robert Edwards said in a statement.

"These actions will allow us to focus on improving and strengthening our core grocery business."

The move will cost Safeway about $375 million in pension withdrawal liability, with tax benefits of about $145 million, it said in the press release.

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