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Albertsons LLC creates social and digital marketing team

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC is sharpening its focus on social media and digital marketing with the creation of a new social and digital marketing team that will be led by technology and social marketing expert Karl Meinhardt.

Meinhardt’s history in the technology side of grocery retail extends back to the first launch of Albertsons.com in 1998, where he was responsible for developing a first-ever Fortune 50 grocery e-commerce solution for Albertsons Inc. Meinhardt went on to found several startup companies in the foodservice and social gaming markets after leaving that role.
 
“As a founder of several start-up companies, Karl has a comprehensive understanding of information as a powerful source of service,” said Mike Massimino, Albertsons LLC’s VP center store. “Karl’s expertise of turning knowledge into a strategic advantage has assisted many organizations in their long term product and service goals, and his efforts to date with our social media endeavors have already established a firm foundation on which the rest of our social and digital marketing strategies will be built.”
 
The social and digital marketing team includes Jana Jeffery, digital community manager, with more than 18 years of experience as a marketing and technology professional for Fortune 100 companies and several emerging startups, and Elizabeth Perryman, digital content manager, who brings experience in public and media relations, having worked with companies throughout the Northwest. Combined, they bring 26 years of social, digital and marketing experience to the newly created team. They join Dan Mackay, director of web services, to form the company’s digital marketing team.
 
“Every company knows that they ‘should’ be using social channels to connect with customers, but only those with an acute understanding of their customer, and how to relate to and connect with those customers will be successful in engaging those customers in the social conversation,” Meinhardt said. “It’s an exciting segment of grocery retail marketing because the space is constantly evolving. Awareness, agility, and brand personality are the key factors of success in the ever-changing digital/social frontier. This team has the skill to deliver those and more.”

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Weis Markets increases capital budget by 25% to $125 million

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday announced it will invest $125 million in its 2012 growth program, a 25% increase compared with 2011.

"Our budget includes two new stores and 18 major remodels," Weis Markets vice chairman Jonathan Weis said. "In addition, we expect to soon complete the purchase of three Genuardi’s units near Philadelphia which we hope to reopen later this summer."

During a shareholders meeting held Thursday, Weis Markets president and CEO David Hepfinger reported Weis already has upgraded two-thirds of its store base over the past three years.
 

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Former Drugstore.com CEO heads to Groupon

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Groupon on Friday named Kal Raman to the role of SVP Americas.

Raman will oversee the company’s operations across 10 countries in North, Latin and South Americas and will be based in Groupon’s corporate headquarters in Chicago.

Raman’s career spans more than 20 years in technology and retail, most recently consulting as general manager of Global Fulfillment at eBay. Raman served as CEO of GlobalScholar, a leader in enterprise software for K-12 public schools, as well as SVP at Amazon, with responsibility for driving its global nonmedia business for retailers and sellers. In addition, he led Amazon’s retail technology and marketing units.

Prior to Amazon, Raman was CEO of Drugstore.com, where he joined as CIO following seven years at Walmart, where he served in numerous management roles.

“Kal brings e-commerce and operational experience to Groupon which will benefit our customers and our merchants as we set out to become the operating system for local business,” Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said.

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