Rosauers Supermarkets Inc. has revealed the upcoming retirement of longtime President and CEO Jeff Philipps, effective Aug. 13. His successor, Cliff Rigsbee, will join the team on June 21.
Philipps has been CEO of the Pacific Northwest regional chain of supermarkets since July of 2000 and worked in the industry for nearly half a century. He has been responsible for expanding the company’s footprint into six new markets and growing sales to nearly $600 million during his tenure. The food retailer currently operates 22 stores in a four-state region, with more than 2,300 employees.
“There will always be more work to be done, but as I retire, I am confident that Rosauers is on solid ground with amazing talent and experience to take on the challenges of our industry, and lead in a manner that will create future success for all,” noted Philipps.
Meanwhile, Rigsbee comes to Rosauers from Honolulu-based Hawaiian Springs Water, where he was the CEO and chief marketing officer. He joined Hawaiian Springs after a 29-year career with Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. Rigsbee's most recent role was at the grocer was SVP of merchandising and marketing for the Northern California division of Safeway.
Previously, Rigsbee was VP of merchandising and marketing for the120-store Denver division, and earlier, for the 84-store Intermountain division. He also guided six company divisions as the corporate VP of retail support for grocery, supporting various Albertsons banners, including Jewel-Osco in Chicago and Acme in Philadelphia. Additionally, Rigsbee has experience in divisional roles, having managed multiple categories and teams in grocery and liquor.
“I am unbelievably excited to join the Rosauers team," said Rigsbee. "Rosauers has always been a leader in selection, quality, service and giving back to the communities they serve. I’m committed to retaining the more than 80-year legacy of putting customers and employees first while leading Rosauers to be the neighborhood solution in this ever-changing world.”
Philipps wrote about Rigsbee in his retirement letter to the staff: “Cliff is very well qualified, with extensive industry experience, and an enthusiasm to create vision and success for our company and employees.”
Like many industry leaders, both Philipps and Rigsbee started their retail journeys as courtesy clerks, bagging groceries and collecting carts.
Rosauers Supermarkets is based in Spokane, Wash., and operates 22 stores in the states of Washington, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of URM Stores, a wholesale co-op also based in Spokane.
Albertsons operates 2,277 retail stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Kings Food Markets and Haggen banners. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.