Specialty grocery retailer promotes exec to lead merchandising team
The Fresh Market has a new merchandising chief.
The specialty grocery retailer has appointed Rich Durante as chief merchandising officer. Durante will oversee all of retailer’s buying activities, and develop strategic purchasing plans for merchandising, product innovation and product quality throughout all stores.
He was previously executive VP of Midwest and Southeast merchandising for company, responsible for merchandising departments and private label programs within these regions. However, that is just a small piece of Durante’s more than 39-year tenure in the grocery industry.
Prior to joining The Fresh Market, Durante was president and COO of AG Supermarket Holdings, which operates Kings Food Markets, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, and Balducci’s On the Go Café. He has also held roles of increasing responsibility at Kings Super Markets, where he successfully led merchandising, operations, marketing and engineering teams.
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Fred’s is on the hunt for a new CEO
Less than two years on the job, Fred’s CEO has stepped down.
Mike Bloom officially resigned as CEO of Fred’s, effective April 24. The Memphis-based company said it has appointed CFO Joseph Anto to the position of interim CEO. Fred’s said Bloom’s departure, which included his resignation from the board of directors, was to pursue other opportunities and not due to a disagreement with the company or its operations.
Bloom’s resignation comes as it seeks to sell its specialty pharmacy business — a decision that has delayed the company’s full-year and fourth quarter results — originally set to take place April 19 — until May 4 for accounting purposes.
Mike Bloom“The board is appreciative for Mike’s contributions, dedication and service,” Fred’s chairman Heath Freeman said. “Mike joined Fred’s with significant experience with retail drugstores. After the company was not able to purchase certain assets from the Rite Aid Corporation and following the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the timing was right, both for Mike and the company, for him to step down. We wish him the very best.”
Anto has been CFO at Fred’s for roughly two months, joining the company in February following a roughly eight-month stint as a consultant for the company that began in July 2017. For three years, Anto was senior vice president of strategy and mergers and acquisitions at MediaNews Group. He had previously been MediaNews Group’s VP of business development and CEO at Jobs in the US.com, a MediaNews Group subsidiary. His previous experience also includes investment banking and venture capital.
“The Fred’s board is confident that Mr. Anto will serve the company well as interim CEO,” Freeman said.
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