I know people in Buffalo Grove who were downright giddy when they heard that Mariano's is coming to their suburb. It's undeniable that, in Chicagoland, Mariano's is hot hot hot.
Can someone explain why it wouldn't work to simply rebrand the deteriorating PNS stores to Mariano's, make some improvements to products and service, etc.? They clearly think it will work with the 11 former Dominick's stores in Chicagoland. And don't give me Chairman Bob's BS about how the Wisconsin customer is different than the Chicago customer. As if Wisconsin people don't appreciate quality fresh foods for reasonable prices, too. If RNDY could so much as stabilize the Wisconsin market, this stock would go much higher.
I agree, it looks like they are trying to strike while the iron is hot. Having only been to PNS and never a Mariano's, i would love to see what all the hype is about. People here in Wisco do appreciate quality fresh foods for decent prices, the old wal-mart story is getting just that old, stabilize wisco and yes we go up.
I am a loyal Mariano's shopper (Western Ave, Chicago). There is nothing that innovative about Mariano's. The produce is fresh, the other fresh foods are good, and the prices throughout the store are reasonable (i.e. on par with Jewel, not Whole Foods). Before Mariano's arrival, I felt forced to shop at Whole Foods, although I choked on the prices. I simply couldn't accept the poor quality of the fresh foods at Jewel, Dominicks, or Target. Mariano's came to Chicagoland and settled in a nice sweet spot in between crummy old Jewel/Dominicks and too-expensive Whole Foods.
I get the sense that PNS is to Wisconsin consumers what Jewel/Dominicks was to me. A true transition from PNS to Mariano's might work unless:
1. other large grocers already occupy that sweet spot in between PNS and Whole Foods and/or
2. Roundy's has completely lost the trust of WI shoppers and they refuse to come back regardless of the brand/quality.