NAPLES, Fla. – The BGJ Group, a leading management consulting firm focused on delivering solutions to the extended retail value chain, announces the addition of Mark Panzer and Richard Shea to its team as associates. Panzer and Shea will deepen the firm’s knowledge in the supermarket, drug, dollar and mass channels, bringing expertise in retail operations, merchandising, strategy development and product development for BGJ Group’s clientele.
“We couldn’t be more excited that two lifelong retailers who are well respected in the industry for their knowledge, leadership and accomplishments chose The BGJ Group to continue their contributions to the retail industry,” says Vince Burke, managing partner of BGJ. “As our company grows, we know how important it is to keep adding value for current clients and prospective clients and Mark and Rich are clear proof of our effort.”
Mark Panzer, a former chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, began his retail career in the Midwest at Osco Drug stores more than 40 years ago. He moved into regional sales, marketing and operations roles for the drug store chain, eventually serving as district manager as well as director, and subsequently, senior vice president of sales and marketing with American Drug Stores, which merged with Albertsons Inc. in 1999. Panzer was named senior vice president of sales and marketing for the combined company. In 2001, he joined Rite Aid as executive vice president of store operations, moving up to senior executive vice president of store operations and, in 2005, was named senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He accepted the position of president & CEO of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Inc. in 2008, and then returned to Albertsons Companies in 2015 as senior vice president of pharmacy and health & wellness. In 2016, Panzer’s role was expanded to include oversight of general merchandise and health & beauty business.
Panzer was awarded the Drug Store News – Pharmacy Innovator of the Year in 2018, the Mass Market Retailers – Health & Wellness Merchant of the Year (2016), Vitamin Retailer – Retailer of the Year (2011), and the Drug Store News – Operations Executive of the Year (2003). Mark recently was awarded Mass Market Retailers’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He attended Loyola University Chicago, obtaining an MBA in Finance.
“I’m looking forward to working with team at BGJ to bring my expertise and experience to our clients. It’s a great opportunity to guide leading retailers, brands and vendors to increase their profitability and performance,” says Panzer.
Richard Shea is a seasoned retail executive with more than 40 years of experience in merchandising, procurement and marketing, including 34 years with the Kroger Co. in roles across store operations, division management and corporate headquarters. During his last 18 years with Kroger, he had corporate responsibility for health and beauty care and non-food merchandising. Shea is recognized in the industry as a collaborative leader with expertise in driving retail strategy and execution; a passion for partnering with suppliers to create mutual wins for the retailer, supplier, and customer and an unyielding focus on store-level personnel engagement.
During Shea’s tenure as senior director of health and beauty care and non-food merchandising, Kroger experienced unprecedented success, including 49 straight quarters of positive same store sales growth and market share gains. He played a key role in numerous successful Kroger initiatives, including personal needs reinvention, pricing strategies, store layouts, collaborative category optimization and the application of customer data and insights into executable strategies and tactics.
“The BGJ Group has a great reputation in the retail sector, and my experience and connections will help expand the firm’s strategic and tactical offerings while strengthening its existing knowledge base. We’ll be doing some amazing things for our clients,” says Shea.