Piggly Wiggly to Close in November

The store's owner hopes to place the 40 employees at other Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets in Lake County.

The will close its doors come November due to failed negotiations with the building's landlord. The roughly 40 full- and part-time employees were notified earlier today, Monday, in a meeting and a letter by owner David Karczewski.

"I think we were all really surprised," said Tim Thrall, who has been manager at the Grayslake store for more than three years. "I can say that 99.9 percent of us are just really sad." Thrall said he found out with the rest of the staff this morning.

"We want to do business there, but we just couldn't figure it out," said Karczewski, clearly upset about having to make the decision. He said he has been in lease negotiations since last December with the landlords of the building. "It got to the point that we could see nothing was going to happen and we had to give our employees plenty of notice."

"Closing was not something we wanted to do. We wanted to continue to grow in Lake County," Karczewski said.

The Karczewski family took over the Grayslake Piggly Wiggly franchise in  2008. It has served as one of the Village's few go-to grocery stores. The kids love the smaller shopping carts, and shoppers enjoyed the personal service they received.

"I am so upset about this. I love my small town Grocery," posted Kelly Truelove on Facebook.

"This is a change of life for many of our employees here," Thrall said. "I'm not sure what's next for me."

The Karczewski family owns three Piggly Wiggly stores in northern Illinois including the ones in Antioch and Zion, which opened in 2004. Karczewski said he hopes to place many of the employees from the Grayslake store at his other locations.

"We have about 150 employees total in the three stores and we are like family," he said. "There are faces to these employees, you get to know their spouses and kids and this just really bothers me. We will do our best to find places for these employees."

Meantime, Vicky Kouantas, a spokesperson for the building at 815 Center street said while she wasn't able to get into specific details, they are "working on something else for that site."

The final day the Piggly Wiggly will be open is November 3.

Piggly Wiggly is a franchise, all of it's 600 stores across 17 states are independently owned and operated. Piggly Wiggly, LLC’s corporate headquarters are in Keene, N.H.

Brad Faxton August 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Not sad and not shocking. Horrible store, bad produce (oh my bad), frequently expired products (just walk around), parking lot was always empty. Shopped there a few times and never came back. Lots of better local establishments.
GuitarMan August 22, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Not sure about all the speculation; tax increases, etc. People still eat and based on the waist lines I see, they eat really well. The Pig may just be another consequence of the "Great Recession", and raw competition like Aldi? Also, don't forget, if you look around commercial real estate is plentiful and spreading the "losses" could result in hard nose negotiations.
Warren Littrell August 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I would hope that Piggly Wiggly could find another location in Grayslake or Hainesville. This great little store will be missed.
Nightcrawler August 22, 2012 at 03:43 PM
As long as everybody's into speculation on this, here's mine. One thing that occurs to me is that, while a lot of Grayslake residents are quick to say how much they love its small-town charm, they're less inclined to support its small town institutions. The Pig, and the Grayslake Pharmacy and Jerry's Parkway before that, and the Center Street Tru-Value before that – I liked all those places, and I patronized them regularly, even though it probably cost more than the big box alternatives. Obviously, I'm in the minority. But keep in mind when your philosophy is "always the low price," you're gonna get what you pay for.
catalina10 August 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I am a frequent shopper at the pig and am very sad to see it go. I especially love the double coupon Sundays in addition to the friendly staff. There are so many senior's who like shopping at the Pig. What a total drag. I suspect the building will sit there vacant for a long time before someone else comes in. Hmmm. negotiate and have steady monthly income or raise the rent (again) and force them out and let the building be vacant and Lose money ...
Warren Littrell August 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Nightcrawler is right to some extent. We are all guilty of this and even more so in these tough times. With that said I hope "The Pig" finds a new location in the Grayslake area.
brian shields August 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Do you think the owner of the propery owns a grocery store.
Dismayed August 24, 2012 at 04:44 AM
bingo..Lennie...and the property taxes continue to rise as our property values dropped..thanks Village of Grayslake...at least you're not in debt...and have money to make fancy downtown paved streets and to pay someone to cut limbs off my tree that isn't on village property or invading it????...and now you got me started....it's a shame to lose the Pig, I also loved that store..
Dismayed August 24, 2012 at 04:48 AM
I agree completely and I'm right behind you!!!
Dismayed August 24, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I agree, but since living in Grayslake since '87 we always frequented Jerry's (kids were just reminding me of the store), the pharmacy and hardware store...sorry, but I blame the Village..they allowed the Walgreens, Ace, CVS, Jewel, and how many pizza places do we need?? drove out Little Ceasars years ago and now Pat's Pizza. The drive-in gone, the buffalo, and now the old fairgrounds..the small town feel is gone, replaced by greed...the only thing that will remain the same is the landfill....
Warren Littrell August 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Again, I am sorry to see the Piggly Wiggly leave Grayslake but you cannot place the blame on Walgreens, CVS, Jewel and "all the pizza places" for their demise. This is a failure of two entities not being able to reach agreement on a lease for a piece of property. Every has the right to open a business in a community. When you do that you can either succeed of fail. This is simple a business decision made between two entities. I sincerely hope Piggly Wiggly finds a new location in the Grayslake area.
Julie August 25, 2012 at 01:19 AM
To all Piggly Wiggly shoppers; David Karczewski, the owner, lied in this article about notifying his employees himself. He left a framed closing notice with the manager and that was passed around. That is the real way his employees that he said "were like family to him" found out about the closing. He also offered a sever-ins package of 100.00 to his faithful employees but only if they stay until the store closes. With family like this....
Michelle Chavez August 25, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Exactly what I was saying to my family. Pat's Pizza too! His taxes doubled a few years ago!
Ravana August 27, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Sever-ins? You mean severance.
Ravana August 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I was told this weekend that the landlord had already signed with a new renter before the "negotiations" with the Pig even started. Does anyone know if this is the truth? If it is true, any clue what is going in the space?
Jim Rogers August 27, 2012 at 04:04 PM
The Waterstone Market property on Rte 45 in Third Lake is available
N. Wardin August 28, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I love the PIG....So sad. Great deals won't find that at Jewel. Loss for Grayslake!
s_a_s August 29, 2012 at 02:18 AM
I'm truly sad to see "The Pig" go. I agree with many other people posting that this store was easy to shop, and staff are generally more pleasant to work with an certain competitors. As I don't know the details about the rent negotiations, I can't comment. I wish the employees who served the customers well good landings elsewhere. However, since a representative of the building owner has said there is something in line already to occupy the The Pig's space . . . well all I can say, the "something" better materialize fairly rapidly. One thing the Village and residents DON'T NEED is another blighted, vacant property in a highly visible location. (Rember how long that vacant, deteriorating building stood on a certain Center Street corner? And how it was suppposed to be developed, and now it's just a grassy patch? Well, at least the grassy patch is an improvement!)
Laura shamberg August 29, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Very sad to see the pig go. We love the location and the products at the store. Have been going for many many years. If it is a big chain store i will go elsewhere to shop.
TK September 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
The reason small pharmacies fail is because of insurance companies. They have contracts with big companies like CVS and Walgreens. The insurance companies determine where you can get your medication -- unless you want to pay full price, which can be extremely expensive depending on the drug. There are plenty of "small town" and non-chain places in Grayslake: The Vine, Charlies, Emils, the frame shop in downtown Grayslake, Bulldogs, the book store, the hobby shop, Decorum, To Bead or Not to Bead, local attorneys, doctors that are not part of a big group, etc, etc, etc. I think Grayslake still has a nice small town feel. No Walmart, no Target, no Costco, and no Sams ....THANKFULLY.
Nightcrawler September 02, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I'm with you, TK, but we are in the minority. I'd add Miller Area Heating to your list as a local anchor that seeks and deserves community support.
Murray Tead September 16, 2012 at 04:09 PM
As a tennant In one of the "Landlords" properties, I can unequivicly stand up for "them" always have treated me more than fairly and also they are a local (Grayslake) owned enterprise. I dont think anybody need worry about it becoming Slummy. This to me Is purelya Business issue, and I am sure the question of whats best for our town was In the mind of the owner.
Local September 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM
"Lots of better local establishments", really Brad? By my count the only other choice in Grayslake is Jewel and I would say better is your opinion. I've shopped at the Pig since it opened nearly 20 years ago, with nothing but a good experience. They made some of the best fried chicken you could get!! If the speculation about our ever increasing property taxes being part of the reason they can't come to terms is true, that just makes me more determined to leave.
Dismayed September 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I'll miss their reasonably priced salads!!!
Night Owl September 17, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Catalina10 From what I heard, the owner of the property increased the rent so much that the Pig had no choice but to leave. I have it under good authority that a bowling alley is to be the new occupants...
Night Owl September 17, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I had heard the same thing! I also heard that a bowling alley (really??) is going in the location.
Night Owl September 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I think the owner saw dollar signs and jacked up the rent to push the Pig out...do we really need a bowling alley???
Fifteen Year Grayslake Resident October 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I am told that the store is now staying open until December 15th. Evidently there is a sign on the door to that effect.....
Johny November 13, 2012 at 02:30 AM
This has nothing to do with the village. Nothing to do with taxes.... The building owner was looking to bring in somebody at a new rent "base". And it looks like that's exactly what happened. Obviously I don't know, but the way it turns out it looks like the landlord was in negotiations all along with the soon to be tenant, Farmer's Marketplace
Angela Sykora (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Indeed they are. Here is a link to the article. http://grayslake.patch.com/articles/piggly-wiggly-to-remain-open-until-dec-15


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