Whole Foods buys seven Dominick's leases in Chicago from Safeway

Mon Feb 3, 2014 4:49pm EST

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc said it bought seven Dominick's Finer Foods stores leases in Chicago from Safeway Inc.

The largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chain said it expects to reopen the stores as Whole Foods Market stores in 2015.

The transaction is expected to slightly hurt earnings in fiscal 2014, Whole Foods said in a statement.

Safeway said in October that it plans to leave the Chicago market by early 2014 as it continues to narrow its focus. It then had 72 Dominick's in the city.

Whole Foods has 19 existing stores as well as three stores in development in Chicago.

Terms of Monday's agreement were not disclosed.

Shares of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods closed at $52.23 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

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