Opportunity knocks for four food retailing leaders

Opportunity knocks for four food retailing leaders

SN profiles four industry executives managing significant changes at their companies in the years ahead

Merger-and-acquisition activity and new-market expansion among food retailers have created new challenges and opportunities for many of the industry executives tasked with managing these strategies.

In this issue, SN takes a closer look at four people overseeing such initiatives. The 2014 Executives to Watch are: Robert Mariano of Roundy’s [3], Dennis Eidson of SpartanNash [4], Jim Keyes of Fresh & Easy [5] and Chuck Roskovich of Publix [6].

“If we continue to focus on the things that have made us successful — providing a highly differentiated food shopping experience with extraordinary perishable offerings under an umbrella of exceptional customer service — then market share will take care of itself,” Mariano [3], chairman, president and CEO of Roundy’s, told SN of the company’s efforts to expand Mariano’s Fresh Market in Chicago, marking Robert Mariano’s return to his native city.

At SpartanNash, Eidson [4], president and CEO, is overseeing the integration of two Midwestern wholesalers that expand the company both geographically and in terms of its lines of business.

“Two months into the merger, our biggest surprise is there haven’t been any real surprises,” said Eidson, who previously had been part of the management team that was successful in turning around Spartan Stores.


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At Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which was recently acquired from Tesco by investment firm Yucaipa Cos., “The first thing they have to do is redefine what the brand stands for and deliver at store level,” said Bill Bishop of Brick Meets Click. “Getting the stores remerchandised should be the highest priority.”

At Publix Super Markets, Roskovich [6] brings nearly 40 years of experience with him as the company expands in the Charlotte market.

“He knows the Publix playbook — which by the way, has been very successful,” said Jose Tamez, managing partner at executive search firm Austin-Michael, Golden, Colo.

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