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Lucky’s Market is closing

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Lucky’s Market, 1668 Sycamore St, Iowa City — Adam Burke/Little Village

Update: The story has been updated with information about new store hours and discounts, included in an email statement Lucky’s Market provided after the story was first published.

Lucky’s Market announced on Monday it will close its Iowa City location. According to a post on the store’s official Facebook page, its last day will be March 4. Lucky’s employees were informed of the closing at a 6:30 a.m. meeting on Monday.

“It came out of the blue,” Amanda Rossmiller, who works in Lucky’s café, told Little Village. “There wasn’t any indication this was about to happen.”

The 37,000 square foot store has been one of the anchor stores for the Iowa City Marketplace, which many people in Iowa City still refer to by its former name, Sycamore Mall. For some locals, Lucky’s was more than just supermarket — it was a meeting place. The café hosted everything from political events to families looking for a meal deal — two slices of pizza and a beer were $5 — while their kids played arcade games.

Rossmiller said some of the workers at Lucky’s had begun to suspect the store might be in trouble when the 6:30 a.m. meeting was announced.

“And pretty much after the first year after Lucky’s was open there was gossip on the east side that it wasn’t doing well and would close,” Rossmiller said. “But that wasn’t based on anything other than the store being in Sycamore Mall.”

“The mall doesn’t have a great history of keeping stores there.”

Lucky’s is located in the space formerly occupied by Von Maur. The department store moved to the Iowa River Landing in 2013.

In 2014, the Iowa City Council approved $1.75 million in tax rebates for Iowa City Marketplace to help pay for renovations for two new anchor stores, Lucky’s and Planet Fitness. The only council member to vote against the rebates was Jim Throgmorton.

“I’m not yet persuaded that the owners of the town center need financial support from the city to take actions in that area already in their own economic self interest,” Throgmorton said at the time.

In an emailed statement, a Lucky’s spokesperson explained the store’s daily operating hours will be shortened to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting on Monday, Feb. 18. There will also be discounts on merchandise starting on Feb. 13. While supplies last, beer, wine and spirits will be marked down 20 percent, and all other items will be 25 percent off.

Customers who still have Lucky’s rewards points or gift cards after the store closes will be able to use them at any other Lucky’s location.

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The first Lucky’s Market opened in Boulder, Colorado in 2013. The grocery chain currently has stores in 11 states; the Iowa City location is the only Lucky’s Market in Iowa.

The bar at Lucky’s Market — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village


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Comments:

  1. I like Lucky’s, but it is a boutique grocery store catering to New Pi’s clientele. This area – my area – needs an affordable/discount grocery store within walking distance to nearby neighborhoods. It’s disgraceful to see individuals/families have to take cabs to Hy Vee or other less expensive stores.

  2. I hope the city will think about this big success next time they talk about how great it would be to have expensive national chain stores downtown. Instead of raising taxes or giving rebates for a store that will suddenly decide that cutting into local business isn’t enough so they’re just going to close and fire people, how about making a better bus system and encouraging great stores like Paul’s Discount… oh too late.

  3. This store is funded by international hedge funds—bye bye now and don’t come back. I’m thrilled for New Pi!

  4. i’m really bummed about this — they’re near my house and i work from a home office and when Shipt started delivering i started getting deliveries a couple times a week and going in person a couple times a week too. that orange juice with turmeric is not anywhere else so i guess i’ll make my own. also loved the firewood bundles the sell.

  5. Sad to see another store close in the sycamore mall but the quality of Lucky’s went down and prices kept climbing so good riddens! Customer service was also lacking lately…

  6. They opened when there was no Natural Grocers or Trader Joe’s so they were a good alternative but I will miss nothing ar all because their prices were a bit too high and quality of produce was much to be desired!

  7. I always found the staff at Lucky’s to be top-notch. They were professional, friendly and knowledgeable. While we did shop the sales quite often we also loved their in-house smoked bacon without all of the preservatives. This store and their staff have become family and I will miss shopping at the store and seeing these incredible people. We always found their produce to be excellent as well as a great cheese selection. I thank you Lucky’s for the memories that will be treasured. I have NEVER met a group of people that worked harder than this staff. Those that knew you will miss you more than you will ever know.

  8. One recent receipt for Lucky’s:
    one 8-ounce bottle of powdered vitamin C without crazy additives
    one bottle 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide
    $25 total for the two items

    My other preferred purchases include:
    Essential oils $10-$27 per bottle
    Whole turmeric root $10 per pound
    Ginger
    Garlic

    Hy-Vee
    Turmeric root $16+ per pound (exceptionally poor quality)
    Essential oils – unavailable
    Food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide – unavailable

    Why is Lucky’s closing? Because people couldn’t afford the prices for the items they were buying. They may go there once to try out an item and then go online to get it for a better price. They aren’t switching over to Hy-Vee, because Hy-Vee either 1) doesn’t carry it, or 2) its very low quality with a very high price. If it is an item Hy-Vee carries, the prices will not be consistent between stores – higher at one Hy-Vee than at another.

  9. We went to Lucky’s a number of times when first open- good deli stuff & then produce seemed good. They also had nice diversity of frozen food. The last time I was there, the deli food was looked so bad, I couldn’t find anything to take for lunch. Did the natural food store opening nearby affect their business? I’ll miss the Lucky’s, which originally opened. IC has a number of good grocery stores/ co-ops, with diverse, costs, services & prepared food.

  10. New Pi: please move to this location! The Iowa City store is getting squeezed out and soon there won’t be any parking. The store itself needs an upgrade, more space for ready to purchase prepared foods and for places to sit for small and large groups: this space could accommodate so much more New Pi!

  11. It’s hard-to-impossible compete in a City like Iowa City where Hy Vee already has a monopoly, new specialty food stores open every week it seems, where rents are very high with wages low, and Luckys had nothing that totally special! These dreams come and they go here yearly … while the Sycamore Mall knowingly kicked Farmers Market off its grounds then the City closed Farmers Market in the park … we are lucky to even have streets and sidewalks on the East side of town the way Iowa City works! Lucky’s was a dream. Fond goodbye. I loved you while you were here. Now its back to the salt mine and Hy Vee – aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

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