Shoppers to Take Over Farm Fresh Merch, Ops

21 laid off at latter Supervalu regional banner hqts.

March 30, 2017, 05:00 pm By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information

Shoppers to Take Over Farm Fresh Merch, Ops

Supervalu has transferred responsibility for all of the merchandising for its Farm Fresh, Shoppers, and Shop 'n Save East divisions -- the last comprising the 22 stores it acquired last year from Food Lion -- to the merchandising team based at Shoppers in Bowie, Md., company spokesman Mike Wilken told Progressive Grocer.

As part of the change, Farm Fresh President Micky Nye will become regional VP of operations for Farm Fresh, Shoppers and Shop 'N Save East. Nye will report to Shoppers President Bob Gleeson, with all of the local store operation leads remaining on board and reporting to her.

While the change doesn't affect hourly associates or day-to-day store management at any of the banners involved, the company is reducing merchandising staff at Farm Fresh by about 21 positions, Wilken said, while 23 operations positions at Farm Fresh will remain. Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu expects to hire some additional merchandising positions at Shoppers to support the new structure, he added. Those laid off will be able to apply for new or open positions elsewhere in the company, or qualify for severance.

"In the end, this change will allow us to leverage the size and create one team focused on our ad-planning process to be used across all three banners, as well as maintain a consistent focus on store execution and customer service to deliver improved shopping environments," observed Wilken.

Grocery-sector watchers, meanwhile, saw a bid to save a floundering banner. "Farm Fresh sales have been flat for a long while," Baltimore-based industry observer Jeremy Diamond told PG. "The chain doesn't have any new stores in the works" in the competitive market, which has heated up of late with new competition.

By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information