There is no doubt about it—the company as a whole has performed better because of Topgrading. A Player executives do a better job of setting direction, 4 times as many A Player store directors of course get better results, and when we’ve Topgraded entry employees and the social media rave about how positive and energized the whole store is, record sales no longer surprise us!

- Bob Mariano, CEO

Company: Roundy's

No. of Employees: 18,000

Industry: Midwestern Grocery Chain of 160 Stores


  • Improved from 20% to 80% A Player storemanagers hired.
  • Best method to pick top team (CEO Network of A Players worked with in the past).
  • 100% executives replaced; 100% executives hired are A Players.
  • Average of 95% customer service ratings of entry-level employee.
  • Store Director Job Scorecard
  • Excellent entry-level (abbreviated) Topgrading hiring methods.

Roundy's achieves a turnaround, Topgrading at all levels and creating successful innovations in Store Manager and Entry-Level hiring.

Company History: Roundy’s is a privately held grocery chain of 160 stores, operating under five banners in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. The newest banner is Mariano’s Fresh Markets, which in the Chicago area has achieved unprecedented praise from the media (including social media) and has achieved unprecedented results, in part because of the Topgrading innovations.

A private equity company needed a new executive team to turn the company around and hired Bob Mariano, who was involved with Topgrading in the mid-1980s, when he was a SVP with Dominick’s.

Topgrading Methods: Mariano Topgraded Roundy’s, top to bottom. His first step was to Topgrade the executive ranks, and he recruited the right way—attracting A Players he had worked closely with in the past. It is to his credit that he has been so successful recruiting, for many new executives came to Roundy’s because they had (and have) so much respect for Mariano.

Topgrading was implemented with two-day workshops for Store Directors and all managers through senior executive, plus shorter Topgrading workshops (with more pre-reading required) for managers within the stores. Roundy’s has implemented all 12 Topgrading Steps, throughout the entire company, and at all levels.

This means that in the stores, for example, not just the Store Director but the entire team of managers is chosen with Topgrading methods, and beginning recently, allentry-level employees in the new Mariano’s Fresh Markets are being hired with Topgrading. This is probably the first retail company to use Topgrading to hire and promote 100% of store employees.

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