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Giant Eagle looks to its own for CEO, president positions

BY Gail Hoffer

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle has named Laura Shapira Karet CEO and John Lucot president and COO. Both appointments are effective Jan. 9, 2012.

Karet, 42, is taking over the position from her father David Shapira, who will assume the position of executive chairman of Giant Eagle’s board of directors. Shapira has served as CEO since 1980.

"Our company’s success is made possible by the commitment to our founding principles, and the continued dedication of 36,000 team members who deliver the Giant Eagle experience to customers each day," Karet said. "I hope to emulate the type of leader that my father has been for our company, while continuing to cultivate a dedication to high quality foods, great customer service and investing in the communities we serve."

Karet joined Giant Eagle in 2000 as VP. Karet most recently served as Giant Eagle senior EVP and chief strategy officer, responsible for the development and management of Giant Eagle’s long-term business plan and setting direction for its corporate priorities and innovations.

Prior to joining Giant Eagle, Karet held marketing executive positions at Sara Lee from 1997 to 2000, including director branded marketing for the bakery division. Karet also served in several brand management roles at Procter & Gamble from 1990 to 1997 for household name products, such as Crisco shortening, Folgers Coffee, Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrances and Secret antiperspirant.

Lucot currently serves as COO for Giant Eagle and was instrumental in the development of Giant Eagle’s GetGo, Real Estate and Independent Operations businesses, according to the company. He began is career at Giant Eagle in 1974 as a Giant Eagle supermarket clerk. His tenure has included executive positions in distribution, retail development, real estate and operations.

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Bartell launches eighth annual toy donation drive

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — Regional chain Bartell Drugs is working with the Salvation Army to sponsor a toy donation drive, the chain said.

Starting Monday and lasting through Dec. 11, Bartell’s began collecting new, unwrapped toys during its eighth annual Salvation Army "Toy ‘N’ Joy" drive.

Toys collected at the chain’s stores will be distributed to low-income children and youth the week before Christmas through the Salvation Army’s "toy warehouses."

"The drive helps make the holiday season brighter for deserving children," Bartell chairman and CEO George Bartell said. "The generosity and support of our customers over the past seven years has been gratifying."

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Discount grocer announces expansion into Pittsburgh, Ohio markets

BY Michael Johnsen

SALISBURY, N.C. — Discount grocer Bottom Dollar Food is hiring more than 800 associates over the next several months to begin to prepare for store openings next year, the company announced Wednesday.

"We look forward to expanding in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, next year, and bringing new jobs to these areas," stated Bottom Dollar Food president Meg Ham. Bottom Dollar Food is expected to open 14 stores in early 2012. 

Bottom Dollar Food opened its first store in High Point, N.C., on Sept. 21, 2005, and opened its first store in Pennsylvania on Oct. 8, 2010. The banner has since grown to 52 stores in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition to its expansion in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, Bottom Dollar Food also remains focused on expanding in the greater Philadelphia market, which currently encompasses 21 stores in the state of Pennsylvania and three stores in New Jersey.

The announcement follows the release of third-quarter earnings results by Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Delhaize Group, which owns Bottom Dollar Food. The company said that the banner has garnered some positive feedback in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

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