OPERATIONS

Whole Foods appoints VPs of operations

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market announced that two regional presidents, David Lannon and Ken Meyer, have been promoted to executive VPs of operations, joining the executive leadership team. The company’s 12 regional presidents will report to them.

In these newly created positions, Lannon and Meyer join John Mackey, Walter Robb, Glenda Flanagan, A.C. Gallo and Jim Sud, expanding the executive team to seven leaders. They will begin transitioning into their new roles over the next month. Lannon will reside in Northern California and Meyer in the Washington, D.C., area. Both will frequent the company’s headquarters in Austin.

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News

Research firm offers bright forecast for retail

BY CSA STAFF

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Not long after Deloitte released gloomy predictions for consumer spending in 2012, another firm is out with a more sunny forecast. Retail sales will increase by 5.7% in 2012, according to a new report by Customer Growth Partners, a consulting and research firm serving retailers, vendors and institutional investors.

The report, “The Great Consumer Reset/The Great Retail Reset,” finds that falling household and credit-debt levels, along with higher savings rates, are fueling consumer spending.

“After sharply ratcheting down expenditures in 2008-09, consumers have indeed resumed spending, amazingly enough, at about the same 5% year-over-year growth rate seen prior to the recession,” said Craig Johnson, president, Customer Growth Partners. “In short, American consumers have now completed a historic ‘reset’, fueling the strongest retail rebound seen in decades.”

Similarly, retailers have had their own “reset,” according to the report. It notes that beginning in the mid -2000’s, after decades of overexpansion, retailers sharply curtailed store development plans, closed rafts of underperforming stores, cut overhead and staff costs, and redirected growth strategies more online.

“Merchants that did bite the bullet during the recession have found that their prudent pruning has been rewarded with new growth — and sharply higher store productivity,” Johnson said.

To read the report, click here.

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OPERATIONS

Arby’s launches Oracle E-Business Suite

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Atlanta — Arby’s Restaurant Group said Friday that it has selected service provider BIAS Corp., based in Atlanta, to implement all of the needed Oracle applications and infrastructure. BIAS will serve as Arby’s long-term partner to provide EBS application managed services and support.

According to Arby’s, its acquisition last year by the Roark Capital Group required the newly formed Arby’s technology team to establish a computing environment for all technology services that support the brand in a very compressed period of time. As part of the new Arby’s Information Strategic Plan, the restaurant group made the decision to source a business partner that could initially implement and then provide ongoing managed services for Arby’s Oracle E-Business suite of products.

"Strategically, my goal was to establish an IT department that is primarily focused on building our brand, enhancing our restaurant operations and assisting our franchisees with their profitability," said John Lukas, CIO and VP of Arby’s Restaurant Group.

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