A DIFFERENT DESIGN FOR A GROCERY STORE

Think of a big box grocery store and a  square brick facade with equally square windows is immediately brought to mind. Enter a chain that appeared in the 1970s Chicagoland area that turned that design on its ear.   With its gracefully arched roof that continued to the equally arched entrance of the store, the style was very distinctive for a grocery store.   The name?  Kohl’s Food Stores.  The Schaumburg Township location?  580 S. Roselle Road, the current location for the Walgreens at Schaumburg Road and Weathersfield Way.

Kohl’s Food Stores were begun by Max Kohl in 1946.  Even though the British-American Tobacco Company gained a controlling interest in Kohl’s Corporation in 1972, the Kohl family continued to run the company.  After the family left in 1979, the Kohl’s Food Store chain opened more stores—adding the Schaumburg store that same year as part of the expansion.   

The Roselle Road store—in a shopping center known as Kohl’s Plaza–joined these other stores in the area:  Chicago, Buffalo Grove, Morton Grove, Glen Ellyn, Mt. Prospect, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Elmhurst, Bloomingdale and Hanover Park.    And, for a mere three years, the Kohl’s Food Store served Schaumburg Township well as an alternative to Jewel, Butera and Dominicks.   In the spring of 1982, however, it was announced that the Schaumburg store, along with seven of the other Chicago area stores, would be sold to Eagle.

In a quick turnaround, Eagle opened their store in what is now the Farmgate Shopping Center.   Although the merchandise changed, the arched facade of the store remained throughout the ownership of Eagle and, later, Dominicks.  It was not until Walgreens took ownership of the store, that the façade changed.  You can, however, still see an example of the typical Kohl’s façade at Rogan’s Shoe Store on Dundee Road in Buffalo Grove. 

Unfortunately, our library does not have any photos of the Kohl’s Food Store in Schaumburg.  Should you have any in your possession, we would certainly appreciate the opportunity to scan the photo(s) and add them to our Local History Digital Archive.  Please contact Jane Rozek at jrozek@stdl.org

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5 Responses to “A DIFFERENT DESIGN FOR A GROCERY STORE”

  1. Dan Says:

    I don’t have any pictures of the store as a Kohl’s or Eagle, but I do have some photographs of the store as a functioning Dominick’s, right after Dominick’s closed in 1996, as well as a few during the demolition. The store was completely demolished– it wasn’t just a redoing of the facade.

  2. Rich Says:

    I worked at this location when it was Dominick’s store #117 from 1985-1990 as a bagger and stock clerk during my HS and college years. I do remember it being a Kohl’s when I first moved to Schaumburg in August 1979 as a 9 year old child. I may still have some photos taken inside the store of myself and co-workers when it was a Dominick’s taken in either 1988 or 1989. If I find them I’ll scan them and send them to you.

    I remember the absolutely monstrous frozen food aisles (by today’s standards) set dead center of the store. It seemed like a big cave with the upright coolers on either side and the long “coffin” cooler that ran down the center of the aisle effectively creating two aisles. At that point of the store it seemed like the roof was 100 feet high (it wasn’t, of course-but it seemed like it).

    For such a large store it had an absolutely tiny back storage area which was in the southwest corner of the store.

  3. Cheri Sobeski Prescott Says:

    I worked at the Schaumburg Kohl’s in the late 70’s til early 80’s. I can remember Mr. Kohl coming to the store from time to time. We had a great group of people who quickly became good friends. I would love to be able to reconnect with some of those folks!

  4. dballman Says:

    Cheri, we worked together at the Kohl’s. I was there from August of 1979 to September of 1984. Started as a bagger, but also ended my time in produce and checking. Lots of good times at that store and a lot of fun people. Would definitely love to hear from some of them! I will send you an email as well…
    – Darrin Ballman

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