The last Rainbow Foods store will close in a matter of days

The Maplewood store was the last to hold out.
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Rainbow Maplewood

It's the end of an era for Twin Cities shoppers, as the last Rainbow Foods closes its doors for good.

It was at one point the second biggest grocery chain in the Twin Cities, with more than 40 stores across Minnesota

But the chain's fortunes faded amid increased competition, with its owner Roundy's deciding to leave the market in 2014. It closed 9 of its 27 remaining stores immediately and sold the other 18 to Cub Foods' owner Supervalu, as grocery rivals sought to capitalize on its demise.

Just one store remains, the Rainbow Foods in Maplewood, which Supervalu told BMTN will have its last day on Monday afternoon.

In a statement, Supervalu confirmed that the store will close, which will be followed by the closure of the Cub Foods store on Arcade Street in St. Paul on Sept. 26.

"All our stores play an important role in the community and we value the hard work of our Rainbow Maplewood and Cub Arcade associates throughout the years," a Supervalu spokesman said, adding that workers will be offered other opportunities at other Cub store locations in the area.

The second-to-last Rainbow Foods store in the Twin Cities, in Richfield, closed this past May, as the Star Tribune reported, while another was bulldozed in St. Paul's Midway to make way for the new Minnesota United stadium.

Rainbow's exit from the Twin Cities market left a vacuum that others have tried to fill.

Cub Foods, is among those, though Cub is now facing its own pressures as it sees its market share reduced thanks to the entry to the market of Hy-Vee, expansions from retailers including Aldi, Fresh Thyme, Lunds & Byerlys and Kowalski's, and improvements from Target and Walmart. 

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The demise of Rainbow has seen some retail experts suggest Cub could be next, with the chain's stores currently up for sale after a $2.9 billion buyout of Supervalu was agreed in July, with United Natural Foods taking over.

That said, Cub notes it has embarked on heavy investment in recent years in the Twin Cities, opening new stores and refreshing its existing locations.

In the past few years it has added stores in Oakdale, White Bear Lake and Blaine, liquor stores in Champlin and Coon Rapids, and is due to open its new urban grocery store at 46th and Hiawatha in Minneapolis this spring.

It has also remodeled more than 25 of its stores, which will continue with updates to its Maplewood West, Midway and Chanhassen locations.

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