DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Home decor chain sees big opportunity in Texas

BY By Marianne Wilson

At Home Group continues to expand its store network in the Lone Star state.

The fast-growing retailer announced the grand openings of three locations in the greater Houston area, including a newly redeveloped store in Katy, Texas, that opens on July 19. Construction is underway on stores in Pearland and Richmond, Texas, that are slated to open in the fall. The Katy location is one of seven At Home stores in the greater Houston area, and one of 26 in Texas.

"With the opening of these three locations in the greater Houston area, we are executing on the tremendous opportunity that we see in this market," said At Home chairman and CEO Lee Bird. "As a brand that was born in Texas, At Home is proud to continue this strategic expansion not only in Houston but across the state."

At Home is opening more than 25 stores year. The company, which went public in August 2016, has achieved a 20% top-line compound annual growth rate over the past four fiscal years.

The 135,000-sq.-ft. Katy store offers over 50,000 home décor items from furniture, mirrors, rugs, art and housewares to tabletop, patio and seasonal items, including more than 100 different artificial Christmas tree varieties.

"The site of our new Katy store is rich in history as one of the original locations for At Home's precursor Garden Ridge, and it is the first completely rebuilt At Home store," said At Home store drector Robert Cortino.

At Home is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and currently operates 135 stores in 33 states

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C-SUITE

Parent company of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo taps veteran grocery exec as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Southeastern Grocers has made a temporary appointment permanent.

The supermarket operator, parent company of Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, and Harveys, has appointed Anthony Hucker president and CEO, effective immediately. Hucker has served as interim president and CEO since July 1, 2017.

"He has played an integral role in our successful transformation over the last 18 months and we are positive he is the right leader to guide SEG," the company stated. "Anthony brings significant industry expertise, and we are confident that he will continue to improve the business to the benefit of our dedicated customers across the Southeast."

Before joining SEG in March 2016, Hucker was president and COO of Schnucks, one of the largest privately held supermarket chains in the U.S. He also held the position of president of Giant Food, based in Washington, D.C., and served on the executive board of Ahold USA.

Prior to Giant Food, Anthony spent seven years at Wal-Mart Stores in a variety of leadership positions, internationally and domestically. He began as the CIO of the Americas, formed the global format development division and was promoted to head of strategy and business development for Walmart USA. He also worked for 10 years with Aldi, where he served in a variety of leadership assignments in Germany, the U.S. and Austria, and was part of the original startup leadership team that set up Aldi UK.

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C-SUITE

CEO turnover up in July — and not just in retail

BY Marianne Wilson

The month of July saw a big turnover at the top.

The number of chief executive officers who announced their departures continued to rise last month, with 102 CEOs leaving their posts in July, according to a report by global outplacement consultancy and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. This is a 7.3% increase compared to June’s exits, and a 10.9% increase over the 92 CEOs who left their posts in July of last year. (The Challenger reports are pulled from press releases and announcements of both public and private companies in the United States.)

But while July boasted a noticeable increase in exits, the total number of chief executives who have left their posts so far in 2017 is just 669, which is 6.6% fewer than the 716 CEOs who left by the end of July 2016. The trend of fewer CEO exits in 2017 was consistent throughout the majority of industries surveyed. However, retail was among the industries bucking the trend, losing more this year than last.

All told, 19 retail CEOs departed in July. From January through July, a total of 30 retail leaders have departed.

The government/non-profit sector experienced the most turnover in its top posts this year, with 99 CEO changes year to date, 23 of which occurred in July.

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