What’s Mariano’s without Mariano?
A lot more like Kroger. Since founder Bob Mariano retired two years ago, the upscale Chicago-area grocery chain has come to resemble the midmarket stores of its Cincinnati-based owner, which acquired Mariano’s parent company for $800 million in 2015.
Mariano stayed on after the deal as CEO, promising his namesake stores wouldn’t change under the largest U.S. grocery chain. Industry experts now say Mariano’s is losing the distinctive offerings and high-end flourishes that set it apart from traditional grocery chains. Gone are the numerous on-site dining options and easy-to-use coupon system. In their place are more Kroger-branded items, an increase in self-checkout lanes and new pre-made meal kits that haven’t clicked with customers.
To read the rest of the story, please go to: Crain’s Chicago Business