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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.

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 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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