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Eidson named president, CEO of Spartan

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Spartan Stores on Friday named Dennis Eidson as the company’s president and chief operating officer effective Oct. 22, from his role as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Eidson was also named to the board.

Eidson will continue to report directly to Craig Sturken, who continues his responsibilities as chairman and chief executive officer. Eidson will lead the company’s overall strategy implementation and execution, and direct all operating aspects of both the retail and distribution business segments.

“Our steady business expansion and continuing organizational growth during the past four years necessitated the change in our organizational structure and expansion of our board,” Sturken stated. “We are extremely pleased to appoint Dennis to this position because of his exceptional leadership skills, collaborative management style and profound understanding of the grocery industry. Dennis has been instrumental in developing and implementing many of the critical marketing, merchandising and category management practices that initially stabilized our business and have since led to a consistent record of revenue and earnings growth. In addition, these practices have enabled us to gain market share during a challenging economic climate and period of unprecedented competition in the grocery industry. Dennis has also played a key role in helping to turn Spartan Stores’ corporate culture into a highly motivated and performance driven organization.

“Moreover, the changes will allow me to focus more effort on the most important long-term strategic growth aspects of our business plan and less on the daily operational execution,” Sturken said.

 Under the new organizational structure, Derek Jones, executive vice president, supply chain will report to Eidson, while Tom Berg, vice president, business development will report directly to Jones.

Both positions previously reported directly to Sturken.

Eidson’s current direct reports include Ted Adornato, executive vice president, retail operations; Alan Hartline, senior vice president, merchandising; Ken Thewes, vice president, marketing; and Tom Montgomery, manager, retail services.

Dennis Eidson originally joined Spartan Stores in 2003 as executive vice president of marketing and merchandising.

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Rite Aid, dLife announce information resource for diabetics

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTPORT, Conn. Rite Aid on Thursday announced the launch of a 360 degrees/365 Day Diabetes Alliance with dLife, an integrated multimedia education platform established solely for the diabetes community.

“By joining forces, Rite Aid and dLife will be a powerful and easily accessible resource for the millions of patients who are living with diabetes,” stated Howard Steinberg, founder and chief executive officer of dLife. “We applaud Rite Aid’s commitment to making an impact on this major health epidemic. Through Rite Aid stores and dLife communication channels, including dLife.com and our television program, we will be a significant resource in assisting patients in maintaining control over their disease and improve their diabetes lifestyle.”

Rite Aid and dLife will use a variety of communication channels, including newsletters and literature with content from dLife at Rite Aid stores and an audio loop of “dLife Diabetes Minutes” on Rite Aid’s in-store radio. Additionally, dLife will be featured in Rite Aid’s weekly sales circulars.

Rite Aid customers will be invited to join the dLife-Rite Aid membership program, to receive a variety of special benefits, including free newsletters and documents when shopping at Rite Aid

“Rite Aid is focused on the health and wellness of our patients and we are committed to providing them with the programs, services and support needed to lead healthier lives throughout the year,” stated John Learish, senior vice president of marketing. “Many people have diabetes, or care for someone who does, and it is important for them to realize they don’t have to manage the disease alone. dLife is an ideal partner because they are well recognized as having the superior content and resources to help patients manage and live well with diabetes.”

Rite Aid’s Diabetes Management initiative is part of a year-long commitment to patient health and wellness. Each year Rite Aid offers free information, answers and guidance on health and wellness topics such as skin care, pain management and heart health.

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Bakewell named to GMDC board of directors

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The Global Market Development Center on Wednesday named Karen Bakewell, director of GM/HBC merchandising with Spartan Stores to its board of directors.

“Karen brings an impressive general merchandise and health beauty wellness level of experience at not only the wholesale level but the retail level as well,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president. “She will provide GMDC with additional thought leadership in both areas.”

Bakewell came up through the retail ranks of Kroger, from meat clerk at the store level to seasonal coordinator in headquarters. She joined Spartan in 2004.

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