Category A: (1-25 Stores), Finalist

Jose Marroquin

Inserra Supermarkets ShopRite
New Milford, NJ

He has an eye for detail, an ear for worker and shopper sentiments and a heart that guides outreach to those in need. In his 20 years at Inserra Supermarkets, Jose Marroquin has maintained a strong sense of successful grocery store operations and a proven body of work to support his recognition as a top manager.

From a bottom-line perspective, Marroquin consistently generates sales growth, driving a 1.99% increase in store sales over the past year with a 2.5% lift in growth. Thanks to his leadership, his store’s gross profit climbed 30.26% on a year-over-year-basis and the location reported a 0.93% total store shrink in 2021, a decline from the previous year.

Such stellar results were achieved in part because of Marroquin’s appreciation for data as a driver of opportunity and profitability. As a former retail inventory control manager, Marroquin understands the power of data and uses it as a foundation for his 12-month plan and to foster best practices among his employees. During supply chain bottlenecks, he piloted a program using computer-generated ordering to maximize product availability, an effort that was implemented with all Inserra stores during the holidays.

He’s not just a numbers guy, though. Marroquin's team praises his creativity and spirit of collaboration when it comes to merchandising ideas. He also recognizes the impact of personal connections, encouraging his team to be “pleasantly ready” to help shoppers find what they are looking for and to sell up when possible. Internally, he regularly communicates with his team to provide clear direction and map out store and company goals and carefully listens to their input for solutions.

That ability to both guide and listen has helped Marroquin set up his team members for success. Over the past year, he promoted more than 50 associates to store management positions, shepherded 150 associates from part-time to full-time employment and helped develop and oversee the company’s assistant management training program.

His people skills extend to the store’s customers and to the larger community. Marroquin launched a program that he dubbed “It starts with you,’ centered on the notion of treating everyone with respect and as if they were a friend or family member. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he introduced a bulk ordering program for food pantries and created fun events like a dunk tank, car wash and steak dinners to raise money for local food pantries. Since 2017, Marroquin has led his stores to outperform Inserra and Wakefern stores in fundraising and sales during the annual General Mills "Partners in Caring" initiative, netting them coveted spots on the program’s Cheerio Box recognition – proving that he is also the face of positive management.

“During his 20-year tenure, Jose has consistently demonstrated passion, professionalism, inspired leadership, commitment to store community, superior communication skills, ability to develop and mentor staff and innovation in driving sales growth.”