OPERATIONS

Crate & Barrel searching for new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sascha Bopp, CEO of Crate &and Barrel, has resigned. The retailer’s COO and CFO, Adrian Mitchell, has assumed interim leadership. A search is underway for a permanent replacement.

“This position will concentrate on supporting the company’s evolving business strategy and include a deepened focus on the customer experience and growth in the digital space,” the company said in a statement.

Bopp joined Crate and Barrel in 2009 as COO and was named CEO in 2012 after the retirement of Barbara Turf, who died last month of cancer. Bopp previously served as CFO of Primondo, a German multichannel retailer and holding company,

No reason was given for Bopp’s departure, which comes less than a month after Crate and Barrel president Marta Calle resigned. Calle, who headed the company’s CB2 division, was promoted to the number two slot at Crate and Barrel the same time Bopp was named CEO.

"With the unfortunate passing of … Barbara Turf in mid July combined with the departure of president and chief merchant Martha Calle around the same time, losing a CEO less than a month later leaves an unfortunate leadership vacuum just as Crate and Barrel moves into their critical holiday season," Neil Stern, senior partner with McMillan Doolittle, Chicago, said in a Chicago Tribune report.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Aldi top low-price grocer

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Aldi was recognized as the nation’s low-price grocery leader for the fourth year in a row, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information. Aldi announced in December 2013 that it intends to open 650 new stores across the country during the next five years.

When asked to rank the top grocers offering low prices, the 6,200 consumers who participated in the study ranked Aldi first, followed by Costco and Walmart third.

In addition to remaining the low-price grocery leader, Aldi maintained a top five ranking in the categories of good private label brands, accurate pricing and tags and sustainable environment/green policies.

Aldi said it also earned top-five rankings in three new Market Force categories such as courteous staff, fast checkout and nutrition/health information.

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REAL ESTATE

Cold Stone Creamery opens first Pakistan store in September

BY Dan Berthiaume

Scottsdale, Ariz. – The Cold Stone Creamery will open its first store in Pakistan in September. Kahala Brands, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, has signed a master franchise agreement with Venus Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., part of the Venus Group of companies, spearheaded by Adnan Asad.

The stores in Pakistan will be called Cold Stone Creamery Cafes. The first location will open at the Gulberg Galleria in Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan. The Galleria houses international and local high-end brands and eateries. A second Cold Stone Creamery Cafe will open by the end of 2014 in Karachi, a metropolitan city with a diversified culture and the business capital of the country.

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