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It's over at two Rainbow Foods stores in the metro

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Rainbow Foods is shuttering two more stores in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.

The Star Tribune reported the Columbia Heights store will close this week, putting an estimated 67 employees out of work. Most of them will transfer to other Rainbow groceries. The Rainbow Foods in Brooklyn Park will close in mid-February. The supermarket chain is owned by Roundy’s in Milwaukee, which acquired it in 2003.

That will bring the number of stores in the metro area to 27. Increased competition from discount retailers is a major factor in the closures.

“The economic downturn over the last few years, coupled with an increased competitive footprint from the likes of Wal-Mart and others, has made it hard to control costs and remain competitive,” Roundy's vice president James Hyland said in a statement.

Roundy’s has closed five Twin Cities area Rainbow stores in the past year. The news of these closures comes almost one year to the day from when the Rainbow Foods store in Forest Lake closed. The Forest Lake Times reported that the last day for the 50,000 square foot store there was Jan. 9, 2013. The closure meant the loss of 59 local jobs. At the time, the paper reported that the decision was attributed to slow sales.

That was the same reason given for the closing of the Robbinsdale store, reported last February by the Business Journal. But the May announcement about the closure of the Plymouth store was related to what a Rainbow spokeswoman termed "a lease issue," according to an account in the Business Journal. It was replaced by a Kohl's store.

Grocery competition in the Twin Cities has heated up in recent years with the arrival and expansion of Costco and Trader Joe's, and the entry of discount giants Wal-Mart and Target into the grocery field.

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