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Schnucks to host Frieda’s Produce University

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Supermarket chain Schnucks Markets is partnering with produce wholesaler Frieda’s to educate shoppers about citrus fruits.

The retailer said all of its Schnucks and Logli stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi would host Frieda’s Produce University, an eight-hour, open-house-style event on Saturday that will feature staff to teach shoppers how to prepare and eat various citrus fruits and free samples. The session will cover exotic varieties, such as Meyer lemons, pomelos, blood oranges and kumquats.

“Frieda’s Produce University is a great way for Schnucks produce teams to show off their expertise and knowledge while educating shoppers with a fun, hands-on event,” Frieda’s VP Jackie Caplan Wiggins said.

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Henry’s, Sprouts to merge under one banner

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO and PHEONIX — Two natural food retailers are merging together.

Henry’s Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Market, which were both founded by the Boney family, will combine forces under the majority ownership and sponsorship of Apollo Management, a private equity firm. The stores will operate under the Sprouts Farmers Market name.

The newly merged operation will include 98 stores, more than 7,000 employees and annual revenues that exceed $1 billion at the time of the transaction closing, which is expected to be in the second quarter 2011.

Henry’s Farmers Market, based in San Diego, operates 43 total store locations, which includes 34 stores in California and nine stores in Texas that operate under the Sun Harvest banner. Henry’s was one of the retailers that was featured in last year’s Drug Store News Marketplace Daily as one of the "5 Must-See Stores in San Diego."

Sprouts Farmers Market is based in Phoenix and operates 55 stores across four states.

Stan Boney, chairman of the board at Sprouts, said, "The combination of Sprouts and Henry’s is an exciting chapter in our family’s lives, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission of helping America eat healthier, live longer and spend less. Apollo is one of the most experienced and successful private equity firms in the nation, and we are excited about their support for our business model and look forward to working together with Andy and his team."

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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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