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CEO of specialty grocer resigns

BY Marianne Wilson

The Fresh Market's chief executive has resigned after less than two years on the job.

The Fresh Market announced that Rick Anicetti has resigned as CEO and board member. No reason was given for his departure. Anicetti took the reins of the specialty grocer in September 2015, bringing more than 30 years of experience across a variety of retail functions at Hannaford Brothers Company and Food Lion, where he served as president and CEO.

Fresh Market CFO Brian Nicholson has been appointed as interim CEO, effective immediately. Nicholson has served as the company’s senior VP and CFO since returning to The Fresh Market in September 2016. From 2004 to 2012, he held a variety of positions for the retailer, including serving as VP in the business strategy, financial planning and analysis function from 2005 to 2012.

In April 2016, The Fresh Market was acquired by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for approximately $1.4 billion. The supermarket retailer currently operates 176 stores in 24 states across the U.S.

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Parent company of Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo on hunt for a CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Southeastern Grocers' chief executive is leaving after 16-months on the job to pursue "another opportunity."

The parent company of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores said that Ian McLeod has resigned as president and CEO. McLeod, who joined the company in March 2017, previously served as group commercial director for Wesfarmers Group, one of Australia’s largest employers with diverse business operations, including supermarkets, discount department stores, home improvement and office supplies.

McLeod will remain in his current role through June 30, to assist with the transition. He will be succeeded on an interim basis by Anthony Hucker, COO of Southeastern Grocers, effective July 1.

Prior to joining Southeastern Grocers as COO, Hucker was president and COO of Schnucks, president of Giant Food and head of Walmart's strategy and business development division. He also spent 10 years as part of the original start up team with Aldi UK.

"We expect a seamless transition under Anthony's leadership," the company stated.

"We are also grateful for Ian's stewardship of the business during his tenure. Under Ian's direction, Southeastern Grocers has made substantial progress on our transformation plan and established great momentum."

The company, which is the fifth largest conventional supermarket retailer in the United States, has initiated a search for McLeod's successor.

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Lululemon in investment, partnership with cycling apparel startup

BY Marianne Wilson

lululemon athletica is thinking outside its core athleisure category.

The retailer has acquired a minority stake in, and entered into a strategic partnership with, 7mesh Industries Inc., an emerging Canadian brand that sells higher-end cycling apparel for men and women. As part of the arrangement, 7mesh will collaborate and create product at Whitespace, Lululemon's research and development facility, which is located at its headquarters in Vancouver. Lululemon hopes to have initial line of product from the collaboration in stores by the middle of 2018, Fortune reported.

"We’re always open to unlock opportunities to fuel our innovation pipeline,” said lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin. “In bringing together 7mesh’s extensive technical apparel expertise and performance-focused mindset with the capabilities of our industry disrupting R&D Whitespace team, we perfectly blend fashion and function to co-create transformational products for our guests.”

Based in Squamish, British Columbia, 7mesh is located to lululemon’s headquarters.

“Working in close partnership with lululemon’s Whitespace team is an incredible opportunity for us. We’re excited to push the state of the art together in co-creating the most advanced technical performance apparel available,” commented 7mesh CEO Tyler Jordan.

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