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Supervalu names Sam Duncan president, CEO ahead of timeline

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Monday named Sam Duncan president and CEO. In this role he succeeds Wayne Sales, who has served as the company’s president and CEO since July 2012. The succession was first reported last month, when Supervalu announced its agreement with AB Acquisition to sell five of its retail banners as well as enter into an agreement with Symphony Investors to conduct a tender offer for up to 30% of Supervalu’s outstanding common stock. 

Both AB Acquisition and Symphony Investors are Cerberus Capital Management-led entities. 

Supervalu had previously announced that Duncan would assume the leadership role upon closing of the transaction. Sales will be Supervalu’s executive chairman and in that capacity will continue to have oversight over the completion of the transaction. At the closing of the transaction, Robert Miller, current president and CEO of Albertsons LLC, will become Supervalu’s non-executive chairman.

“The board decided to install Sam as president and chief executive officer before the completion of our previously announced transaction so he can start refining and where appropriate implement plans for the business," Sales said.  

Duncan, 61, most recently served from 2005-2011 as chairman, CEO and president of OfficeMax, the third-largest office supplies retailer in North America with more than $7 billion in revenues and more than 1,000 stores. Prior to joining OfficeMax, Duncan served as president and CEO of ShopKo Stores, a $3 billion Midwest retailer. 

As part of today’s announcement, Supervalu also reaffirmed that the closing of the previously announced sale and tender offer process is expected to occur the week of March 18.


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Save Mart pledges $400,000 to American Heart Association

BY Alaric DeArment

MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Supermarkets has committed to raising more than $400,000 this year to increase awareness and promote education about the risks of heart disease to women, the chain said.

Save Mart said it would raise the money in collaboration with the American Heart Association and its Go Red for Women movement.

"Heart disease is the number one killer of women in our country, with one-in-three being diagnosed each year, Save Mart president and COO Steve Junquiero said. "We, as a company and as individuals, are committed to building awareness and raising funds to help protect the heartbeat of our homes."

Save Mart will sponsor television and radio commercials and digital media featuring real-life survivors and heart-healthy recipes, Pinterest sweepstakes, pharmacy health fairs with preventive screenings, shelf tags to identify heart-healthy products, participation in the AHA’s Heart Walks and employee events.


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Magnacca — nothing short of a visionary merchant

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens promoted Joseph Magnacca to EVP from SVP. Magnacca also retains his title as president of daily living products and solutions. In this capacity, Magnacca will continue to oversee Walgreens merchandising and inventory strategy, private brands, insights and analytics, and the New York-based Duane Reade drug store chain, which Walgreens acquired in 2010. 

And that means Magnacca will continue to do what he does best, which is change everything you’ve ever thought you knew about drug store retailing across the front-end. If you’ve ever met him in person, you’d know he’s not a static person. He doesn’t stand still. He’s always moving toward identifying that next thing, that next offering or presentation that resonates with people at the crossroads of health and happy and at the same time is something they never thought they’d find in a drug store. 

Take sushi, for example. Who does that? Who thinks it’s appropriate to sell sushi at a drug store? The fact is it never was appropriate, that is, until Magnacca and his team recognized that sushi could satisfy an unfulfilled need. It was a need in downtown urban markets where people were on the lookout for fresh, healthy lunch items and came to be all too happy to see the American equivalent of an itamae standing behind a Walgreens counter. 

And who buys fine wine at any place other than a fine wine store? Someone who has the opportunity to stop by a Walgreens flagship store before heading home from work, that’s who. But Magnacca and his team didn’t stop with a simple swap of a gondola or two for wine racks. They installed interactive kiosks that can assist pairing that fine wine with a fine meal. And they created an offering of premium cheeses and meats within that space. 

Fine wine stores don’t even have that. 

Those are two strong examples evident literally at the front door of many of Walgreens’ flagship locations, which as a format has proven immensely successful and helps feed the ideas of what might work across Walgreens’ Well Experience stores. But that kind of what-is-that-doing-in-a-drug-store thinking resonates throughout the entire store. FroYo frozen yogurt bars. Craft beer growlers. The Look Boutique with nail bars and interactive makeup kiosks. An OTC set replete with a healthcare concierge. 

All of those unique and channel-busting offerings may or may not be credited directly to Magnacca. He helps spark a pretty forward-thinking group of merchants, after all. But he also has created an environment where those merchants can try out new offerings based on fulfilling potential consumer need-states as opposed to basing new offerings on what has worked in the traditional drug store model in the past. 

So DSN wishes congratulations on the well-deserved promotion of a visionary merchant who is constantly peeking beyond the horizon.

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