Gilroyans will say adios to the old and bienvenido to the new, now that Mi Pueblo has become Cardenas in a Hispanic supermarket shakeup following the merger of the two companies last year in July.
“The footprint of the store has a lot of changes coming,” said Cardenas Director of Public Relations Marco Robles. “There will be new products that are common in Cardenas stores, and there will be improvements in the service the customer can expect. We anticipate a great relationship with Gilroy and the surrounding area.”
According to Robles, aside from the signage and some new products on the shelf, the status of the remaining 120 people strong workforce will be unchanged.
“It is the same management team with some additional management at other levels,” Robles said. “Labor will be the same; we are not anticipating any layoffs. We want to see growth in our merger, and we’re looking to expand labor force. Our CEO has made that clear.”
Cardenas, headquartered in Ontario California, is owned by New York-based KKR, an investment firm that according to their website, “is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds.”
When KKR announced the merger last July, it declared that the two companies would operate as Cardenas Markets LLC, but each grocery chain would continue to operate independently under a single executive team under CEO, John Gomez. That period of independent management of Mi Pueblo stores appears to have ended.
“This business is moving up in ways we wouldn’t have predicted,” Robles said. “We used to only think of cashiers and baggers in the grocery industry. Now we bring our own bags. Life has changed, and the way we shop has changed, and we are at that point of adapting to trends. We offer the opportunity to grow, and now we can offer that expansion of service.”
KKR and Chicago-based Victory Capital Group bought both Cardenas and Mi Pueblo late in 2016, instantly becoming an industry leader in supermarkets that cater to Hispanic consumers. KKR currently owns 53 Cardenas Markets in three states; 43 in California, seven in Arizona and four in Nevada.