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A&P boosts merchandising, marketing team

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — Bankrupt grocer A&P, which just revealed plans to shutter 32 stores in six states, has bolstered its merchandising and marketing team with the appointment of six new executives.

A&P filed for bankruptcy in December 2010 and is in the midst of a turnaround aimed at reducing structural operating costs and enhancing value for shoppers. On Feb. 15, the company announced it is seeking court approval to close 32 stores by the end of the company’s fiscal first quarter.

The new executives are:

  • Marie Robinson, SVP of supply and logistics, who joins A&P from Smart & Final, where she served as SVP supply chain and logistics. She began her career as a U.S. Army logistics officer before moving into supply and logistics roles at Walmart and Toys "R" Us;

  • Nancy Gaddy, VP deli and bakery. Prior to joining A&P, she was VP deli, bakery and food service operations at Winn-Dixie. She has more than 23 years of experience in deli and bakery services through roles with increasing responsibility at Ahold and Ingles Markets;

  • Kevin Broe, VP own brands, who will lead the retailer’s own-brands initiatives. Prior to joining A&P, Broe was VP sales and merchandising of own brands at Supervalu. Earlier in his career, he held management positions at American Company Stores, Bruno’s, PetSmart, Cub Foods and Factory Card Outlet;

  • Harry Giglio, VP meat and seafood. Prior to joining A&P, Giglio was VP perishables for Weis Markets. He brings more than 30 years of corporate and field management experience in food retail through management positions at Stop & Shop and Shaw’s Supermarket;

  • Bob Weidner, VP customer experience and space management. In this role, Weidner will be responsible for revamping the customer’s in-store experience, including the merchandising sets and layouts. He has more than 30 years of retail experience, including management positions of increasing responsibility at Jewel Food Stores. Most recently, he served as SVP U.S. operations for Prism; and

  • Corey Pearson, VP pricing and analytics. Pearson will lead the development and implementation of pricing strategy and systems, as well as everyday pricing, including costs and deals. With more than 32 years of merchandising experience in food retail, Pearson has worked at a variety of companies, including Cub Foods and Biggs. Before joining A&P, Pearson was the director of merchandising execution for Supervalu.

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Hallmark launches postage-paid cards

BY Allison Cerra

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hallmark has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service to make sending greeting cards hassle-free.

New postage-paid greetings, which will range in price from $2.69 to $3.99, feature the U.S. Postal Service’s Intelligent Mail bar code on the front of the envelope. Acting as a first-class stamp, Hallmark’s postage-paid greetings have an added convenience so consumers can sign, seal and send cards without worrying about adding a stamp to the envelope.

More than 200 varieties of everyday postage-paid greetings will be sold in Hallmark Gold Crown stores, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and other Hallmark distribution locations.

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Novartis names Naomi Kelman as new head of the Novartis OTC division

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland — Novartis on Thursday morning named Naomi Kelman head of the Novartis OTC division, effective March 2. She will report directly to Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO.

The Novartis OTC and animal health businesses will become separate Novartis divisions, in addition to the pharmaceuticals, Sandoz (generics), vaccines and diagnostics divisions. As previously announced, following the completion of the merger between Novartis and Alcon, CIBA Vision and Novartis ophthalmic medicines will be merged into the new Alcon eye care division of Novartis.

Until the close of the Alcon transaction, George Gunn will continue to manage the CIBA Vision business. Gunn also will assume his new role as head of animal health on March 2. Gunn additionally will become responsible for corporate social responsibility for Novartis, a move that elevates CSR to the executive committee level.

"With the upcoming Alcon merger, we have decided to put additional focus on two important businesses, which today comprise the consumer health division — OTC and animal health — by streamlining and simplifying our decision-making process," Jimenez said. "Naomi’s experience in consumer businesses, combined with her drive for results make her well-suited to run our OTC business. George Gunn’s extensive experience in animal health will increase the focus and growth prospects for this business."

Kelman joins Novartis from Johnson & Johnson, where she held several leadership roles within both the consumer and medical device and diagnostic sectors.

For financial reporting purposes, the Novartis OTC and Novartis animal health businesses will continue to be communicated under the umbrella of Novartis Consumer Health. Financial pro-formas of the new Consumer Health and Alcon divisions — including CIBA Vision and Novartis ophthalmic medicines — will be published following the merger with Alcon. Until then, the existing segmental presentation of financial results will continue, the company stated.

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