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.
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.