Brooklyn Park Rainbow Foods to close

The Brooklyn Park Rainbow has amassed a loyal customer base over the years.

"I like it all. I like their prices," said Richard Hoium, a Rainbow shopper from Brooklyn Park.

"I shop here a lot," said a Brooklyn Park resident named Nancy. "Every week, at least once."

But when it comes to grocery stores in this area, Rainbow is far from the only option. Across the street is a Cub Foods, next to that is Target and two blocks away is Wal–Mart.

According to Rainbow's parent company, Roundy's, competition wasn't exactly good for the Brooklyn Park location.

Roundy's vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, Jim Hyland, said in a statement that "The economic downturn over the last few years, coupled with an increased competitive footprint from the likes of Wal–Mart and others, has made it hard to control costs and remain competitive in the geographies where we have closed stores."

As a result, the Brooklyn Park Rainbow will close on Feb. 16.

"I'm not happy with that," Nancy said.

"Speaking for my mom, I know she's very unhappy about it," said Lynn Stone of Blaine. "Because it is her store of choice."

However, industry experts say they're not surprised by Roundy's decision to close the Brooklyn Park Rainbow.

"They weren't making money there. I don't think there's much doubt about it," said John Dean, a supermarket consultant with John Dean & Associates.

The same can be said of Robbinsdale's Rainbow store, which closed last spring.

"If it's not profitable for them and they see an out, my expectation is they'll close any store in that ballpark," Dean said.

Rainbow was once Minnesota's largest grocery store for sales volume, but it has since dropped to fourth behind Cub, Target and Wal-Mart.

"Rainbow is a stepchild for [Roundy's], instead of putting more money into Rainbow, they decided to go into Chicago," Dean said.

Which means that Brooklyn Park's Rainbow shoppers will have to devote their loyalties elsewhere.

"I'm just not sure," Nancy said, when asked where she would shop once Rainbow closes. "I like this one, and I like Rainbow and don't know."

Brooklyn Park isn't the only city affected. Roundy's announced it's closing a store in Columbia Heights as well this week. That means there will be 27 Rainbow stores left in the Twin Cities. Dean says Roundy's could close even more underperforming stores in coming years as their leases expire.

Delane Cleveland

Jan. 8, 2014



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