Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mariano's Palatine Review

Mariano's Fresh Market just opened up a new location in Palatine, IL.  They are an upscale grocery store with a few locations in the Chicagoland area.  I had been to the location in Arlington Heights and liked it, so I decided to visit the new store on opening day.

Overall the store looks very nice.  It is a new building which was just completed and it's next to the new police station which also was just recently finished.  These 2 establishments are a huge upgrade from what was there previously which was a Sears Essentials store and a run down strip mall that was mostly vacant.

While it is great to have this new grocery store opening up, I question whether or not this area really needed another grocery store.  Two Jewel stores, a Dominick's, Euro Fresh, and Caputo's are all very close to this area.  It will be interesting to see how this new store effects the others. 

Ok so for the review.  I pulled in and of course being the opening day, the lot was packed.  Despite this, it was still easy to find an open spot.  I walked in and they have 3 different sizes of carts to choose from.  I like this feature because you can pick the right one for the amount of groceries you are going to buy.

Inside it was pretty crowded.  Lots of customers and lots of employees.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.  It was a bit hard to navigate until I got further into the store.  They have a place to eat there and it looks like they have a patio area that will open once the weather turns warm.

The layout of the store is very much like the Mariano's in Arlington heights. I like the layout.  It has a good flow to it and you can cover everything without backtracking which is nice.  I found the prices to be reasonable.  My main grocery store is Jewel and comparatively, Mariano's price were a little bit higher, but the store is more upscale so it is expected.

There were plenty of free sample offerings throughout the store.  There was also a live band and a piano player in there.  I think the band might just be for opening day, not sure about the piano player.  

I signed up for a Mariano's rewards card without really giving it much thought.  I'm not exactly sure what benefits it has, but I figure I'll be back and it must be good for something.

Checkout was pretty quick. They had a lot of people working there to move things along.  Overall it was a good experience.  I'm not yet convinced to make it my default store, but I will certainly add it to the rotation.

Update: 3-15-12
I have been there a few more times and I am very impressed.  They really know what they are doing.  They must have a good training program or good management because everyone who works there seems to go out of their way to give the customer a top notch experience.   It is still busy even in off hours.  Prices are pretty good overall, but some items are a little bit high.  I think surrounding stores are really taking a hit and need to step up their game if they hope to compete.   

1 comment:

  1. My family LOVES Marianos. The most we have ever had to wait in line was less than 1 minute. The people at work, as well as myself go there for lunch, almost every day. Most of the time, the 2nd in command of our businse eats there, too. You can go to the back and get fish, chicken, or a burger freshly grilled to your perfection. I found the store was a little cheaper than Jewel or Dominicks. We were able to taste their FRESHLY SQUEEZED OJ. Now we get that instead of the other type. Marianos is a SHOPPING EXPERIENCE!

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