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Rite Aid shifts Shirtliff to SVP business development

BY Allison Cerra

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid’s SVP category management has been appointed to the position of SVP business development.

Bryan Shirtliff will be charged with developing merchandising initiatives to support the company’s store segmentation strategy, which involves grouping together stores with similar characteristics and creating a unique business plan for each group. His responsibilities also include developing new business opportunities for the company’s nonpharmacy business. Shirtliff will continue to report to Ken Martindale, SVP merchandising, marketing and logistics, and will assume this new position mid-February.

Shirtliff is a 26-year veteran of retail and chain drug store merchandising. He joined Rite Aid in 1998 as a director in category management, advancing to positions of increasing responsibility in category management and being named SVP category management in May 2003.

“Segmentation is one of our top priorities, and Bryan will play a key role as we expand some of our pilot programs into broader market areas. His extensive experience in chain drug store merchandising will be a tremendous asset in developing new programs and implementing them,” Martindale said.

Meanwhile, Tony Montini, an executive from Rite Aid’s agency of record, Marc USA, will fill Shirtliff’s position as SVP category management. He will join the company in mid-February.

“Tony brings extensive and broad-based retail and chain drug store experience to this position,” said Martindale. “His intimate knowledge of Rite Aid, having both worked here and with us at Marc Advertising, is a major advantage and will allow for a very smooth transition.”

Montini, 57, a 33-year retail veteran with extensive experience in chain drug store merchandising and marketing, will be responsible for category management, merchandising and pricing. He joined Marc USA in 2004 as SVP and director retail marketing, then moved to his current role.

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Meijer introduces new store format in Chicago suburb

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer is focusing on innovation with the opening of a new, smaller format, grocery-focused store in Niles, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

The new Meijer in Niles, which opens after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, is about half the size of most Meijer supercenters at 102,000 sq. ft.  The store is grocery- and pharmacy-focused, while still providing some general merchandise offerings. The Niles Meijer will be the 12th Meijer store in suburban Chicago.

The new store will feature many grocery items geared toward the diverse community that surrounds it.

“For several years, we have worked hard throughout the Midwest to offer specific grocery items that are relevant to the unique customer base in the communities we service,” Meijer president Mark Murray said. “The Niles community is represented by a variety of cultures, and we are thrilled to be able to serve such a diverse community.”

Meijer also announced plans to expand this new concept in the Chicago area by building a second grocery-focused store in Orland Park, Ill. Construction of the planned store will begin in the coming weeks and includes a full renovation of a currently vacant retail site. The opening of the Orland Park Meijer is currently planned for later this year and will create up to 150 new jobs inside the store.

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Price Chopper cuts into Conn. market with new store

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Price Chopper has plans to open a new store in Middletown, Conn., the family-owned supermarket chain announced last week.

The 60,00- sq.-ft. supermarket pharmacy will be the eighth in Connecticut and the 120th in New England when it opens this summer, the company said.

“The city is extremely pleased to welcome Price Chopper to our community,” Middletown mayor Sebastian Giuliano said in a statement. “Not only are they great corporate citizens, but they also bring a reputation for quality products at great prices.”

The company plans to “meet or exceed” the U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards to minimize the store’s effects on the local environment and natural resources.

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