CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here has agreed to buy five family-owned Hilander Foods stores in Rockford, Ill. -- a move some analysts say could signal the company's intent to return to the Chicago market. Kroger said it plans to keep the Hilander banner on the stores, which range in size from 30,000 to 88,000 square feet, and to retain the chain's approximately 950 employees. Rockford, the state's second-largest city, is about 60 miles west of Chicago. These stores would be closer to Chicago ...
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