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Ahold appoints James McCann as COO of Ahold USA

BY Alaric DeArment

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — Royal Ahold has appointed a new COO for its U.S. subsidiary, the company said Thursday.

Ahold, based in the Netherlands, announced that it had appointed James McCann as COO of Ahold USA, effective Jan. 1, 2013, replacing Carl Schlicker, who has announced his retirement. McCann, a 43-year-old native of the United Kingdom and currently Ahold’s chief commercial and development officer who will continue as a member of the company’s corporate board, began working for Ahold in 2011.

"I am very pleased that we have a strong leader for Ahold USA from within our own organization," Ahold CEO Dick Boer said. "Since his start with Ahold, James has focused on strengthening our e-commerce proposition and customer loyalty programs as part of the company’s robust growth strategy that was launched last year and is now being implemented. This appointment is a natural step for James. With his international experience in leading roles at global retailers, James is very well-qualified to take on this important role within Ahold."

McCann has previoiusly worked for European retailers like Tesco, Carrefour France and Sainsbury’s.

 

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Walgreens, American Red Cross raise more than $4 million for Superstorm Sandy victims

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and the American Red Cross on Thursday announced that more than $4 million was raised by Walgreens and Duane Reade customers nationwide for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund since Nov. 5. 

“Hurricane Sandy resulted in so many people with needs," stated Mark Wagner, Walgreens president of operations and community management. "We’re very proud of the support Walgreens and Duane Reade customers showed and how that support will help those in need work through the many hardships they face."

“This is one of the biggest Red Cross relief operations in the past five years, and we are so grateful for the generosity of Walgreens and its customers in support of our work,” commented Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “Sandy has impacted millions of people and the Red Cross will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet.”

Walgreens implemented the fundraising program in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy striking the East Coast. The fundraising initiative was in addition to Walgreens’ earlier $250,000 contribution to the American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

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Study: Retailers aim for consistent customer experience in holiday season

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — A majority of retailers say delivering a consistent customer experience is their top priority this holiday season, according to a new survey.

Supply chain and retail technology provider RedPrairie released results of its "Holiday Hiring Snapshot" survey of 250 big-box, specialty, grocery, convenience store and food service retailers based in the United States, finding that nearly 60% cited the importance of consistency, with 29% saying they would hire more seasonal workers this year than last year.

"Today’s hyper-connected consumers give retailers little margin for error when it comes to delivering a superior, consistent customer experience across all shopping channels, and this is amplified during the holidays," RedPrairie director of marketing Dave Bruno said. "To achieve this, retailers will rely on the union of people and products to make customers feel good about their shopping experiences no matter which channel is utilized for the transaction. There is a lot of pressure on retailers to get things right."

The survey also found that nearly 40% of retailers will have the greatest number of seasonal employees on the clock in December, but that big increases in staffing require training, scheduling, time and attendance, and task management to prepare staff to deal with customers.

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