GNC taps Rite Aid chief as CEO
Ken Martindale has stepped down as chief executive of Rite Aid Stores to take the reins of the struggling GNC Holdings.
The specialty retailer of vitamins and supplements on Wednesday announced that Ken Martindale would succeed GNC interim CEO Bob Moran, effective Sept. 11. As part of the transition, Moran will become chairman, replacing Michael F. Hines, who will remain on the board.
Martindale most recently served as CEO of Rite Aid Stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation, where he was instrumental in leading the drug store chain's transformation, including the roll out of a new store format and an expansion of the company's loyalty program. His exit comes some three months after Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid scrapped a $9.4 billion merger agreement.
Martindale joined Rite Aid in 2008 as senior executive VP merchandising, marketing and logistics and rose through the ranks. In 2013, he was promoted to president and COO, and took on the additional role as CEO of Rite Aid Stores in 2015. Prior to joining Rite Aid, he was co-president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Pathmark Stores.
"Ken is a proven leader with deep retail expertise, intimate knowledge of our business through his years of leadership with our partner, Rite Aid, and a record of success in transforming retail business models," said Hines. "I want to thank Bob for stepping in as interim CEO and for putting GNC on the right path."
GNC has struggled with declining sales in recent years. The company is working to turnaround its business with new marketing, a simplified pricing structure for customers and a revamped loyalty program. In July, the company reported net income of $15.7 million for its second quarter, down from $64 million in the year-ago period. Revenues totaled $641.0 million, down from last year's $673.2 million.
"We made good progress in the second quarter, and our investments in pricing, loyalty and improving the customer experience continued to deliver positive results," interim CEO Bob Moran stated in July. "For the second quarter in a row, we saw meaningful transaction growth, improvement in our dot.com business and increased enrollment in our loyalty programs. We believe this business is headed in the right direction, and we remain focused on execution and sales growth."
As of June 30, 2017, GNC had approximately 9,000 locations, of which approximately 6,800 are in the United States (including 2,378 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in approximately 50 countries.
Starbucks taps former Sam’s Club CEO as No.2 executive
Starbucks Corp. has named a former Walmart executive as its next COO.
The coffee giant appointed Rosalind Brewer as group president and COO, effective Oct. 2. She is the first woman, and first African American, to hold such a high post at Starbucks.
Brewer, who joined the Starbucks board in January, served as CEO of Sam's Club, a division of Walmart, from 2012 until she stepped down in January 2017. Prior to that, she spent six years in executive roles at Walmart. Before joining Walmart, she spent 22 years at Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Brewer is highly regarded throughout the retail industry. When she left Sam's Club, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told employees in a memo that "she wants a new challenge."
Brewer will report to Starbucks' president and CEO Kevin Johnson and serve as a member of Starbucks senior leadership team. In her new role, Brewer will lead the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), as well as the global functions of supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations.
“Starbucks is a culture-first company focused on performance and Roz is a world class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks," said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO. "She has been a trusted strategic counselor to me ever since she joined our board of directors, and I deeply value her insight, business acumen, and leadership expertise."
Brewer will continue to serve on the Starbucks board of directors.
“As a passionate customer of the brand and recently-elected board member, I have a deep love and admiration for the Starbucks brand and its people," Brewer said. "I am so honored to have the pleasure of working with the Starbucks leadership team to realize our highest of aspirations for the company and I look forward to working closely with the astute and talented leaders across the enterprise.”
At Home beats Q2 estimates; raises sales outlook
At Home Group is on a roll — and then some.
The fast-growing, value home decor retailer on Tuesday reported its 14th consecutive quarter of same-store sales increases and 13th consecutive quarter of over 20% net sales growth.
In the second quarter ended July 29, At Home's net sales increased 23.2% to $232.1 million, from $188.4 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected sales of $227.1 million. Same-store sales rose 7.8%.
Net income totaled $9.5 million, compared to $6.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 18 cents per share, which just beat estimates.
"Customers continue to respond positively to our trend-relevant assortment of home décor at a compelling value, driving growth in both new and existing stores across a wide range of geographies, price points, everyday and seasonal merchandise," said Lee Bird, chairman and CEO of At Home Group.
Based on its year-to-date performance, At Home raised are raised its 2018 net sales outlook to $916 million to $923 million, up from $906 million to $913 million, driven in part by an annual comparable store sales increase of approximately 3.5%.
"We remain focused on reinvesting in our long-term growth opportunities such as direct sourcing while increasing incentive compensation for our hard-working team members," CFO Judd Nystrom stated. "We are pleased to be reiterating our fiscal 2018 pro forma adjusted EPS outlook of $0.73 to $0.75 despite this reinvestment as well as some third quarter headwinds related to Hurricane Harvey."
At Home opened eight new stores in the quarter and closed one store, which was relocated within its existing market. It ended the quarter with 136 stores in 33 states, which represents an 18.3% increase in stores since July 30, 2016.