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What The Kroger Purchase Of Mariano's Parent Company Means For Chicago

By Kate Shepherd in News on Nov 11, 2015 9:58PM


In just a few years, Mariano's supermarkets have developed a huge following in the Chicago area. Despite a big ownership change, CEO Bob Mariano says his loyal customers have nothing to worry about.

The chain's parent company, Roundy's, has been purchased for $800 million by the U.S.'s largest grocery chain, Kroger, according to the Tribune. But Mariano, who is also CEO of Roundy's, will still be running the 34 Chicago-area stores and will not let the quality go down, he said to the Tribune.

"I would not expect quality to change at all; if anything it will go up," he told the Tribune while working at the new Mariano's store in Lincoln Park today.

The deal is mutually beneficial for the two companies, they said. Mariano's will benefit from Kroger's financial strength and size, allowing them to improve service and expand. Kroger, which runs 2,623 supermarkets in 34 states, will learn how Mariano's upscale scores combine the best of traditional stores like Jewel and specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods.

"What a lot of larger chain brands have learned is that it's easier to acquire than to build," analyst Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told the Tribune. "It's a good opportunity for Kroger to expand their footprint in the country. (Chicago) is not far away from their headquarters, and I think it's a sweet spot for them."

It's not yet clear whether Kroger will expand the Mariano's brand into other markets or use its tricks of the trade to spruce up its existing brands. Mariano will be involved in exploring those ideas and a mix of the two approaches is most likely to happen, Kroger Chief Financial Officer Mike Schlotman told the Tribune.