Phipps, who joined Kroger in 2012, currently serves as vice president of Our Brands. He assumes his new role on August 15.
“We are fundamentally changing how we market to and engage with our customers, and Gil is the perfect talent — a personality full of creativity, imagination and fun who loves food and new meal experiences — to lead the way,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s group vice president and chief executive officer of the company’s data analytics unit, called 84.51°. “Kroger’s new marketing approach is more engaging, cross-functional, data-driven and customer-led in support of Restock Kroger. As we redefine the customer experience, we are using compelling marketing communications to create uplifting connections with our shoppers that earn even more of their sales, trust and loyalty.”
Phipps is credited with leading the transformation of Our Brands by updating existing private lines and introducing new brands that resonate with customers, Kroger said in a statement. “Through elevating recipes and product formulations, inserting personality into packaging and more, Mr. Phipps has increased customer loyalty and driven record Our Brands sales growth.”
Phipps was instrumental in the introduction of Simple Truth, the retailer’s extensive line of private label natural and organic products that last year accounted for more than $2 billion in sales. Kroger said that if Our Brands were a stand-alone enterprise, it would rank 138 on the Fortune 500 list of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies, in terms of sales revenue.
“The retail industry is dynamic, exciting and changing, and I’m thrilled to take on this role at this very moment to transform the way Kroger connects with our customers to elevate our brand across America,” Phipps said in a statement. “We will continue to build on how we use data points powered by 84.51° to create marketing communications and experiences that are even more relevant, meaningful and personalized.”
Phipps started his grocery career in 1987 as a store director for Fresh Plus Grocery in Austin, Texas. He later became brand manager for Guiltless Gourmet before moving into brand marketing positions at both Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods and Hormel Foods. In 2001, he went to work at H-E-B as a brand manager. Through a series of promotions, Phipps eventually became leader of H-E-B’s store brands program.