Maplewood Rainbow Foods is sold

Maplewood Rainbow Foods bought by SuperValu, will keep its name

Cub Foods’ SuperValu will buy the store, keep the name as-is

Rainbow Foods, for the most part, will be no more in Minnesota.

The supermarket chain’s parent company, Roundy’s, announced May 7 it would be selling 18 of its 27 Rainbow stores. Twin Cities-based SuperValu is buying 10 Rainbows and turning them into Cub Foods stores.

Six locations, including the one in Maplewood, will remain a Rainbow Foods under new ownership.

The Maplewood store, 2501 White Bear Ave., will be purchased by SuperValu, but at this point is set to continue to be a Rainbow Foods. Some local residents viewed SuperValu’s decision as a peculiar one, since there’s a Cub Foods kitty-corner from Rainbow on White Bear Avenue.

Questions of store brand items come into play. With Milwaukee-based Roundy’s out of the picture, many customers wondered if Cub Foods store brand items (Essential Everyday) would be on the shelves in both locations under the same ownership.

Roundy’s is reportedly selling the stores for $65 million plus the monetary value of the current inventory. SuperValu’s will be contributing $35 million of that, with Jerry’s Enterprises, Haug Enterprises and Radermacher Enterprises also among the group involved in the sale.

Of the 18 stores in question, SuperValu will claim 100 percent ownership in three Cub stores, majority in two Cub stores, and minority ownership in three Cub stores. It will also have 100 percent ownership in two Rainbow stores, as well as total ownership in 11 affiliated pharmacies.

Once the transaction is complete, it will bring the total to 77 Cub Foods stores, (76 in Minnesota and one store in Illinois).

For now, Jeff Swanson, spokesperson for SuperValu, said the announcement was a fairly complex one, but still exciting for the company. He hopes for a seamless and quick transition.

“Our plan is to close on the financial transactions of the stores over the next 60 days,” he said. “Once the deal’s done, we will close the stores for a very short period of time - one to two days maximum, mainly to change out the signage and restock shelves.”

While Swanson sees it as too early to discuss remodeling plans, he did mention an eventual plan at aggressive renovations.

Cub Foods leadership is in the midst of talking and meeting with Rainbow employees and discussing upcoming changes to their stores. Over the next couple months the company will be hiring about 1,000 full-time and part-time employees with a passion for food and customer service being a trait for any candidate. If current Rainbow employees believe that they possess those qualities, “we encourage them to apply,” Swanson said.

In a written statement, Roundy’s CEO Robert Mariano said, “The economic downturn over the last few years, coupled with an increased competitive footprint in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, has made it difficult for Roundy’s to keep the Rainbow banner competitive.”

According to Mariano, the sale of the Rainbow stores in the Twin Cities to local operators will “provide those stores better stewardship in serving their communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market going forward.”

He added that these transactions would allow Roundy’s to strengthen its business in its core Wisconsin markets, as well as focus on expanding its market in the greater Chicago area.

Tim Faklis can be reached at or at 651-748-7814.


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