Spokane Journal of Business

Rosauers execs leaving; its Cd’A store will close

Rosauers will sell building, land at busy intersection

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Three top executives have left or are leaving Rosauers Supermarkets Inc. following the companys acquisition by URM Stores Inc. this summer.

In addition, Spokane-based Rosauers is closing its sole Coeur dAlene location, saying that outlet has been unprofitable for some time.

Larry Geller, who has been Rosauers president since 1988, says he will retire Aug. 1. Geller, 54, says the move was probably sparked by the sale (to URM), but was my decision.

Bill Haraldson, the companys executive vice president, recently retired, and Candie McElderry, Rosauers chief financial officer, will leave at the end of August, Geller says.

Greg Tarr, URMs president and CEO, says the company had been hoping to keep the management team intact at Rosauers, but the executives made other choices.

Jeff Philips, an outside hire, will succeed Geller as president, and the other two positions are being filled by Rosauers employees, Tarr says.

Spokane-based URM Stores, a big grocery cooperative, acquired Rosauers this summer from its employee owners. URM had owned Rosauers once before, but in 1990 sold the company to its employees in an employee stock ownership plan.

Regarding the closure of Rosauers 20-year-old Coeur dAlene outletwhich will take place at the end of AugustTarr says, Its just something that the Rosauers people have been working toward for a long period of time. Were going to expand in other markets.

Geller confirms that Rosauers has long been considering closing its Coeur dAlene outlet, saying that for the last several years (it) hasnt generated sufficient revenues to be profitable. It just got a little more difficult every year for a small company like ours to keep it open.

The nearly 60,000-square-foot store sits on one of the busiest intersections in Coeur dAlene, at the northeast corner of Appleway Avenue and U.S. 95.

Its an incredible location in terms of traffic, Geller says. Unfortunately, one of the issues is that its hard to get in and out of because of traffic.

Rosauers will sell the building and its nearly 6 acres of property, Geller and Tarr say.

The store employs about 60 people, Geller says. Rosauers will try to place anyone who is interested elsewhere in the company, he says.

Geller says he likely will take a few months off, then join another business venture, although he doesnt have any specific plans right now.

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