Retail News Breaks
Leadership change at Food Lion
December 10th, 2012
Beth Newlands Campbell
SALISBURY, N.C. – Just six weeks after succeeding the retiring Ron Hodge as chief executive officer of Delhaize America, Roland Smith has shaken up the executive ranks of the supermarket operator.
Cathy Green Burns has been replaced as president of Food Lion by Beth Newlands Campbell, who had been president of Food Lion’s sister chain, Hannaford Supermarkets.
Like Newlands Campbell, Green Burns began her career at Hannaford and moved to Food Lion in 2002. In 2005 she was named chief operating officer and aggressively led changes in the chain’s organization, business processes and corporate culture. She was named president of the chain in 2010.
Under Green Burns’ leadership, Food Lion conducted extensive consumer research and market segmentation analysis, developing two alternative formats on the basis of its findings: Bottom Dollar Foods, a hard-discount grocery banner, and Bloom, an upscale format utilizing significant retail technology advances to enhance shopper convenience.
However, pressured by such value-oriented competitors as Aldi and a resurgent Walmart on the low end and Harris Teeter on the high end, Food Lion has struggled to find tenable ground in the middle. In January, Delhaize America leadership pulled the plug on the Bloom banner, closing seven locations and converting 22 back to the Food Lion name. In addition, the company shuttered six Bottom Dollar Food outlets (five in Virginia, one in North Carolina) as well as 113 Food Lion stores.
The retailer has been implementing what it terms a brand repositioning at Food Lion centered on price, quality and shopping simplicity. While Delhaize management has described the results as “encouraging,” and pointed to increases in average transaction and comparable-store sales at revamped stores, price investments made as part of the repositioning have had a negative impact on Delhaize America profitability through the third quarter. According to management, operating profit for Delhaize America fell 14.5% to $216 million during the third quarter, and was down year to date by 47.6% to $353 million. Overall, comparable-store sales at Food Lion were flat during the third quarter.
The replacement of Green Burns was one of several executive moves and structural changes announced by Smith. Succeeding Newlands Campbell at Hannaford is Brad Wise, who had been senior vice president of human resources for Delhaize America. In addition to Hannaford, Wise takes responsibility for Sweetbay Supermarkets, which has been led by Mike Vail, who has been appointed chief supply chain officer for Delhaize America. Meg Ham retains her title as president of Bottom Dollar Food. Other changes include the appointment of Greg Amoroso, former senior vice president of Delhaize America’s business service center and sustainaibility, to the post of chief financial officer, while David Criscione, senior vice president of strategy, marketing and business development at Hannaford, has been elevated to the position of chief strategy and development officer for Delhaize America. The changes were described as an effort to "provide greater clarity of responsibility and accountability, and improve results across the organization."
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