Vernon Hills Store Threatens Libertyville's Tax Base

Economic Development Commission members discuss ways to keep grocery business in Libertyville.

Members of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) discussed a media blitz to help a local grocery store at a recent meeting.

Mariano's Fresh Market is scheduled to open in Vernon Hills in late June and its proximity to Jewel-Osco, at 1300 S. Milwaukee Ave., could hurt the village's tax base.

John Spoden, director of Community Development, said not only is that Jewel one of the village’s top 20 tax-producing entities, he believes it is also one of the best performing Jewel–Osco stores in the Chicago area. 

Steve Martin, an EDC member, says the Jewel-Osco store in Libertyville may lose up to 50 percent of business to the new grocery store.

Business at the Jewel grocery store in downtown Arlington Heights was hurt badly when Mariano's opened near there, according to John Cortesi, EDC chairman and owner of .

“It’s a slice of a pie and the pie is only so huge,” he said.

Village Boundaries, Tax Revenues

O’Donnell and EDC members believe that many Libertyville residents don’t realize the village extends farther south along the east side of Milwaukee Avenue than the west side, and that Vernon Hills' northern boundary begins at the southwest corner of Gregg’s Landing and Milwaukee Avenue.

It is a misconception that could cause the village a lot of tax revenue, but no one knows for sure how much because the state pays tax revenues in a lump sum. What's more, the list of top tax-producing businesses is also not given in order of revenue, according to Spoden.

Other Possible Side-Effects

Aside from lower tax revenues, village residents may suffer in less obvious ways, said EDC members during the meeting.

The Jewel-Osco store sponsors Little League teams and programs at schools. The store may not have the money to continue doing that if revenue drops too much.

O’Donnell is inquiring with Jewel-Osco corporate office to see if they can install gas pumps to draw more business. EDC member Bill Abington asked if Mayor Terry Weppler could be on a conference call with O’Donnell and the corporate office.

Shopping Local

Media blitz ideas include messages on water bills, information on the village’s website and having Libertyville High School sports teams, dressed in their jerseys, putting groceries in customer cars.

On the day that Mariano’s opens, Mayor Weppler is expected to split his time between the Jewel–Osco and Sunset Foods, thanking people for shopping at their local stores.

Members also discussed posting signs thanking people for shopping in Libertyville near the village limits.

“When people shop local, the money stays here,” Cortesi said. 

Correction: The previous article misquoted Terry O'Donnell as saying the Jewel-Osco store in Libertyville could lose businesses to Mariano's Fresh Market.

John April 22, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Well if Libertyville had annexed the Cuneo property, when they had the opportunity, we wouldn't be faced with this situation.
sgrjsg April 22, 2011 at 07:55 PM
Do you really think people care where the "boundaries" are? Jewel is overpriced with poor selection in their deli, produce and meat departments. Customers will always shop where they can get the best product, service and price offerings!
Dee April 23, 2011 at 02:16 AM
Libertyville needs to get on the ball. First the high school, then the library and now they'll lose more tax money to Vernon Hills. What next? Libertyville wouldn't sign the permit for the grocery store that 'almost' went up on the old Frank's Nursery property... what a joke.
Elizabeth April 23, 2011 at 02:29 AM
I'm happy there will be an alternative to Jewel at the southern end of town. Jewel's produce and meat are below par. Plus some of the cashiers and baggers are more interested in discussing their upcoming activities and what time they get off work than they are in the paying customers.
Booboo April 23, 2011 at 03:40 AM
What happened to the food store that was going to open where Frank's was? Let me guess, village corruption vis-avis Jewel influence peddling put the kabash on it. Not surprising, all the Chicago food stores have long and documented ties to organized crime, and the village board has repeatedly demonstrated incompetence and corruption in the context of safeguarding the interests of local merchants, especially the car dealers, who run their twenty to thirty car convoys at a time to jockey inventory as well as all the annoying test drives up and down side streets, especially Fourth Avenue, under an obvious safe harbor "wink-and-nod" agreement not to enforce the law, i.e., without any license plates displayed, and in excess of the speed limit. Just try that yourself and see how far you get! I'm fed up with this town. I am looking forward to shopping at the new store.
Booboo April 23, 2011 at 03:53 AM
P.S. When the village had the chance to help Fourth Ave. residents they responded with complete indifference under those rats Harger and the corrupt little wimp police chief Pat Carey as well as the rest of the vacuous village board including the streets commissioner Westerman who, hypocrit that he is, put up the same kinds of restrcitions sought by Fourth Ave, residents on his own street yet denied them to those on Fourth Ave. I hope the village chokes on its arrogance now and residents look back at Harger and the rest and finally recognize them for what they are. I have been boycotting village businesses for years and am looking forward to the new store.
Fred April 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Libertyville needs another food store. This is a fee enterprize system we live in and this would assist in keeping prices competitive. The performance of some of the young cashiers could be improved as mentioned in a previous reply. Jewel would benifit by having them look at their customers and really care.
V.H. Resident April 25, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Many Gregg's Landing residents have been waiting for the opportunity to avoid the new Libertyville red light camera at that intersection and keep the tax revenue in Vernon Hills. Go ahead and put in more red light cameras, Libertyville, and see your business revenues further erode as more and more of us avoid travelling to and through Libertyville to shop and dine. Shoot yourselves in the other foot.
CommunityMinded April 25, 2011 at 05:35 PM
I will not shop at Jewel. Just because it is in town doesn't mean its local!! Jewel is owned by SUPERVALU INC with 2,500 nationwide stores under different regional names. I would much rather pay a little more at Sunset and not only support a truly local business, but get much better product and service. Independent, family owned businesses need us. And as far as REALLY shopping local, we all need to start supporting our downtown businesses better. Support comes in many forms- of course we should regularly shop there, but we should also spread the word about all of the great stores and people who own them. I don't think they can survive on just Libertyville residents alone, although its an important start.
Sally Ryan April 25, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I am counting the days til I never have to go in Jewel again, hurry up & build that market. The selection at Jewel disminishes each week,as items I bought on a regular basis no longer in inventory. . Impossible to get down an aisle on the weekend without a party of fellas stocking & talking away & blocking the shelves . Quality of produce & meat is so substandard.Now lets talk prices: not 25-50cents more an item but closer to a dollar that Target or Walmart. Jewel has dominated Libertyville families for way too long overcharging, & offering a poor selection. We will welcome the new market with open arms & wallets. Sally
Chi-an Chang April 25, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with Patch! I love reading and hearing feedback from readers! Best, Chi-an
Iluvcoffee April 26, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Regaring the new store, June will not come soon enough! I've been shopping at Target and Sunset for several years now using Jewel as a" last resort stop" only. ( Because of it's location). All of the produce that I purchased for this Easter holiday meal was very disapppointing. I did contact them to let them know I will no longer be shopping there, even in a pinch.
kevin April 28, 2011 at 04:53 AM
I used to work at this store..the employee's there do what any other person would do. Not everybody is work, work, work and i can tell you for a fact that the company was run much better when Albertsons owned it. Dan Mariano is the prior CEO of Dominicks when they were thriving in the Chicagoland area, and i'm nearly positive Mariano's will thrive in that location as well. But please, before you have the nerve to run your mouth about the employees, think about some of the hardships they face as you refuse to shop there. Some old coworkers now don't have enough money to make it by now as it is even before this new store opens. One can't afford her own apartment, and because of the hours she works at Jewel, (mind you she has been there 20+ years and isn't willing to give up the seniority there), can't even go to a homeless shelter because Jewel can't pay her what they were. Employee hours are cut there to a bare minimum and all you arrogant people care about is that they don't talk while your there. That's pathetic. I'm certain that if you worked there, or anywhere for that matter you talk with your coworkers, be it small talk or even long conversations, yet at the very same time your more that willing to criticize someone else for doing the exact thing that you would do in the first place.... Seems like a paradox to me.
Chi-an Chang April 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Patch will be doing a follow-up story, so please reach out to me (chi-an.chang@patch.com) or Betsey (via the email the author link above) if you are willing to share your thoughts with us. Thanks!
RH April 28, 2011 at 12:34 PM
I'd like to see the list of the top 20 tax producing entities of Libertyville
Lisa April 28, 2011 at 01:00 PM
As a Jewel employee, I am very disappointed in all of the negative comments. I know there are issues at jewel, there are at any company. What about the employees who work their butts off yo make it a place that people want to come back to? There are more of those employees. Jewel has been in Libertyville for a very long time, for a good reason. We must be doing something right. I see more happy customers than disappointed ones. Please think before you just give up an old friend for a new one.!!!!!
Sue April 28, 2011 at 02:02 PM
It would be very nice if the competition from Marianos brought the prices down and quality up at Jewel. But remember that if Libertyville loses tax revenue because people shop in Vernon Hills, then the residents of Libertyville can expect to see their quality of life deteriorate. I choose to shop in Libertyville every chance I get. That said, the mayor and trustees of Libertyville should be working harder to get us the stores we need to avoid having to travel elsewhere for our shopping needs.
G. D. April 28, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Many very valid points made here. I too hope Jewel and the Village of Libertyville can work together to make Jewel a thriving entity once again. Offering quality products at reasonable prices would be a welcome change. Is that too much to hope for? Jewel has been acceptable if one shops ONLY the sales, and with fierce competion, they will need to offer more. More quality to start then perhaps better pricing but in this economy it's doubtful.
rachel April 29, 2011 at 10:23 AM
I was standing by the service desk today at jewel and this big lady with a shopping cart full started to complain to a jewel employee about the poor service and high prices jewel has and she went on to say target and walmart is way better in prices and customer service .That example I have shared my friends is why we are a broke america and borrow 40 cents of every dollar. I also think if you have time to complain about Jewel you are a bitter person and need to find a day job.
Andrea Johnson April 29, 2011 at 06:59 PM
One thing no one has said is how Jewel takes a portion ofits worker's paychecks from them every week for "Union Dues." As if it isn't bad enough that most of Jewel's workers are older women or teenagers on a limited income, they have to give a portion of their checks to unions that will likely never do a thing to help them get better wages, but instead pocket the money for their own corrupt causes. And it's not like it's just some tiny amount they have to pay, either. But no on has said a word about that, have they because the liberals all want you to think unions are doing so much to help people. Well, what you don't hear are stories like the ones involving Jewel. Sorry, but it's the truth. Ask someone who works there.
Tyler April 29, 2011 at 07:14 PM
i work at jewel ocso and they take 7.67 a week out of your check for union dues. the union has done nothing for me. nothing. and to al the people complaining about jewel. you need to look at it from the other side of things. Most workers there go to school along with working there. so at the end of a 8 hr long school day and 5 hr work day. you try that and let me know if u are still happy after a 5 hour shift with customer yelling at you because u double scanned there chips.
Tyler April 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM
you need to get off your high horse and realize that these people working there are trying to earn a living. They dont have as much money as you rich woman
taxpayer May 02, 2011 at 05:22 PM
I'm a Libertyville resident and I agree whole-heartedly with the V.H. Resident comment. The red- light camera is there soley to produce revenue and I don't blame anyone who wants to avoid it. I'll be shopping at the new grocery store if it is better than Jewel. I'm already shopping at \Target for groceries instead of Jewel, for the reasons everyone else here has mentioned. Libertyville better come up with different revenue generating ideas. We support the local businesses if it meets our needs, including good customer service. A downtown dance school's office is extremely rude and customers never come first.
PHYLLIS May 04, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Especially to you Tyler.......My first job was as a checker at the original Jewel on Cook Ave. in 1963! Quit your gripping or quit. My adult daughter has worked at another Jewel bakery for about 18 years. Yes, situations with employers have changed and not necessarily for the better. However, manners never go out of style. I have been checking out at the Jewel numerous times, and the checker is not even paying attention to what he or she is doing, but yakking with the bagger about what they did or will do on the weekend, after work, etc. ANYTHING but paying attention to doing his job! That is just ultimately RUDE. When I get home I have to go over each item and my receipt to make sure I have not been overcharged. Not only Jewel, but anywhere I shop now, I make sure I commend good service or complain about poor service to the manager........and then spend my money where I am treated like we all want to be treated. Also, I am not rich. I am on a fixed income and every penny counts.
Andrea Johnson May 05, 2011 at 09:29 AM
No Phyllis, what is rude is an adult like yourself coming on this forum and deliberitely insulting a child for sharing his opinion. For all you know, Tyler is the hardest worker in the whole store.
taxpayer May 05, 2011 at 04:31 PM
And don't forget that employers, in addition to the employee deductions, are required to pay the union, monthly some or all of the following :Welfare Fund, Pension Fund, Apprenticeship/training fund,management fee, another training fund, and promotion fund. In our construction business, we, the employer, pay roughly $30,000 per month (about 13 employees) for the required union contributions, and each employees monthly union deductions are $320.00 each. So, we the employer, contribute 87% of the union required fees! Think about that next time you go vote.
John May 05, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Just opened my property tax bill for 2011. What a surprise taxes went up. Values continue to drop and all our politicians and government employees do is raise the rate to keep the revenue stream going. No one cuts or sacrifices except the ones paying the bills, us! Its time to stop this insanity. If things don't change I will be forced to sell my Libertyville home. All because of the greed and excesses of our public officials, which are totally out of control. And soon businesses will also be forced to leave. You think Vernon Hills wouldn't love to steal our car dealers? It could happen. Wake up people.
dani May 11, 2011 at 07:17 PM
although it may come as a surprise to you that i would actually read this, i am extremely offended. i remember that day... i remember it very well actually. i just so happened to be talking to another girl that i work with explaining to HER that she needed to stop doing things like that. although i am aware it is something a customer shouldnt have to hear and i apologize for that. i have been working at jewel for 2 years and i have never had any complaints of that kind. i am 20 years old and i have to work at jewel to pay tuition and try to get my life started... people tend to also forget about the customers that come in on their phones, or get caught up in a conversation with the customer behind then... i once had a customer literally walk away from the register to go talk to someone... his order was already done, all he had to do was pay and there was a line of at least three people behind him. we had to try calling him back more than once. its a pretty difficult position to be in and it was definitely frustrating for other customers. All im saying is that unless you have worked at jewel, you have no idea what it is really like... and for those who are willing to say we have the worst employees, there are just as many people or more that have said that we are the greatest employees that they have ever seen. and i REALLY appreciate the customers that take the time to say something. if you have comments, tell the manager. good or bad. we cant read minds.
dani May 11, 2011 at 08:03 PM
and for the people expecting a better customer service environment at marianos, you may see many familiar faces. most of the employees that had gone away to school and came back to work at jewel are making a switch to marianos because we can't hire them back. we cant even hire anyone at the moment... marianos has even tried getting current jewel employees to make the switch as well. so if you are expecting new faces, you may be surprised.
G. D. May 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Kudos Dani. Many great employees there at Jewel. They are not the problem, however; some people just can't be catered to enough [Fred]. Those complaining about employees chit-chatting should try engaging the employees in conversation while they wait for their groceries. "It doesn't cost a dime to be nice" ~Norm Van Leer


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