Jembro variety stores make way to Chicago from Northeast

By Sandra M. Jones
Posted today at 12:48 p.m.

Jembro Inc., a family-owned chain of variety stores from the Northeast, is entering the Chicago market.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based retailer unveiled an 8,400 square-foot store at Bricktown Square in Chicago in late March. A second store– almost twice the size at 15,200 square feet — is slated to open this summer at the Hillcrest Shopping Center in Crest Hill.

Depending on how these two perform, Jembro is looking at adding another two locations in the Chicago area by spring of 2012, according to Adam Goldschmidt, the New York-based retail real estate broker representing Jembro. The value store chain is particularly interested in opening stores in the area’s Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods, he said.

Jembro is expected to announce the Chicago store openings Thursday. Mid-America Asset Management Inc., the Oakbrook Terrace-based real estate firm, represented the shopping center landlords.

Established in 1982, Jembro operates a dozen stores in the Northeast. The retailer sells clothing, furniture, home goods, musical instruments and some electronics.

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