The Kroger is Co. is in the process of consolidating its Wisconsin and Chicago operations to a single division based in Milwaukee.
The move is concurrent with the planned retirement of Mariano’s President Don Rosanova, although other veteran Mariano’s executives, including merchandising VP Don Fitzgerald, will also be departing, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. The consolidated Roundy's division will be led by Michael Marx, the current Roundy’s president.
The move reunites the assets that Kroger acquired as part of its Roundy’s Supermarkets takeover in December 2015: conventional Wisconsin stores led by the Pick ’n Save banner, and the Chicago-based experiential fresh food stores under the Mariano’s Fresh Markets name. Kroger separated those banners in 2016, in part because Pick ’n Save was considered a “fixer-upper” and the newer Mariano’s fleet was considered a growth vehicle.
The move will presumably save Kroger on costs as it seeks to invest behind its Restock initiative.
Rosanova will depart effective Sept. 29. The Tribune report said Fitzgerald would work as a strategic adviser to the company until January.
Rosanova had been EVP of operations at Roundy’s since 2006 and was a key partner to founder Bob Mariano in building the chain, which now includes 44 stores in the Chicago area.
In an email to WGB, Roundy’s spokesman Jim Hyland emphasized that “the integrity of the Mariano’s banner will be maintained."
“Mariano’s will continue to be operated as a unique brand and experience,” Hyland said. “Everything our customers know and love about Mariano’s will continue.”
Roundy’s Wisconsin banners will continue to enhance their offerings with some of Mariano’s signature grocery merchandising to further enhance its customers' shopping experience, Hyland added.