Former Nike store executive joins cannabis firm
One of the leading vertically integrated cannabis operators in the United States has tapped a retail veteran to head up its expanding store operations.
Curaleaf has named Chris Melillo as senior VP, retail operations. He will be responsible for spearheading Curaleaf’s dispensary expansion rollout and establishing a consistent customer experience for retail stores across the United States.
Most recently, Melillo served as VP of stores for footwear and apparel retailer DTLF/Villa. Prior to that, from 2013 to 2016, he was senior director of stores North America for Nike. He also served in management roles at Equinox and PetSmart.
Melillo has been instrumental in retail expansions, store design/construction, merchandising and omnichannel commerce in hundreds of stores, in addition to developing and leading retail teams across the country, Curaleaf said.
“As we strategically expand our business by growing our dispensary footprint, it was vital to attract a leader with extensive experience in managing multi-unit operations,” said Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. “Chris’s background makes him well-equipped to help develop the Curaleaf retail brand beyond our existing network in 12 states. Chris will support Curaleaf’s growth through the realization of our strategic plan to establish a national retail footprint with consistent, streamlined atmospheres, driving foot traffic and adoption of the well-established Curaleaf brand.”
Headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts, Curaleaf has a presence in 12 states. The company owns and operates 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites and nine processing sites with a focus on highly populated, limited license states, including Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
Albertsons Companies names longtime retail executive as CEO
Albertsons Companies has tapped a veteran retailer with four CEO stints under his belt as its next chief executive.
The supermarket retailer said it has promoted Jim Donald, currently the company’s president and COO, to president and CEO of Albertsons Companies, effective immediately. He succeeds Robert Miller, who will continue as chairman,
Donald’s 47-year retail career began as a trainee in Florida with Publix Supermarkets. He joined Albertsons in 1976, which culminated in his being appointed VP of operations in Arizona. In 1991, he was recruited by Sam Walton to join Walmart to lead the development of their grocery business and superstore concept.
From Walmart, Donald went to Safeway, and then to Pathmark Stores, where he served as CEO from 1996 through 2002. He then went to Starbucks Corp., where he spent six years, including serving as president and CEO from 2005 to 2008.
Post Starbucks, Donald served as CEO of two other companies, Haggen and Extended Stay America, where he led its successful $565 million IPO. In March, Donald joined Albertsons as president and COO.
“Jim is an exceptional retailer,” Miller said. “In the seven months since he joined Albertsons Companies, he’s flown tens of thousands of miles and met personally with thousands of employees in hundreds of our stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and offices around the country,” Miller said. “His expertise in listening to front line employees and customers, facilitating employee engagement and generating sales is unmatched, and there is no better leader for Albertsons Companies at this state in our evolution.”
Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal kit company Plated based in New York City.
Party City veteran joins candy specialty retailer in dual role
It’Sugar has a new finance head and operations officer.
The candy retailer named Mark Davis as CFO and COO, with responsibility for building and leading the systemization and integration of the operations for the continued scaling and growth of the business.
Prior to joining It’Sugar, Davis spent almost 20 years at Party City. During that time, he held a variety of senior positions, including VP of planning and allocation, CFO and chief inventory officer and COO. Davis spent several years as senior VP of corporate development and president of the wholesale division of Party City.
Prior to Party City, Davis held positions as director of financial systems and internal audit manager for Toys “R” Us.
“Mark’s vast retail expertise is an excellent addition to our leadership team,” said Jeff Rubin, CEO and founder of It’Sugar, which operates 96 stores. “His fact-based analytical approach, outstanding knowledge of the specialty retail industry, and history of implementing systems, process and controls are expected to be tremendous assets as we continue to execute our growth strategy.”