Lee Delaney, chief commercial officer at BJ’s Wholesale Club, has been promoted to president.
BJ’s said that Delaney, previously executive vice president, begins in the new role effective immediately. With the move, he adds the president’s title from Christopher Baldwin, chairman and CEO. Delaney will continue to report to Baldwin.
“Lee’s strategic vision and leadership have been instrumental in transforming BJ’s Wholesale Club,” Baldwin said in a statement on the promotion of Delaney (left). “We are creating a focused commercial organization that will provide outstanding member service by delivering great products at unbeatable value. Under Lee’s leadership, the new organization will build on our progress as we continue our transformation, driving long-term, profitable growth. I look forward to continuing to partner with Lee to transform BJ’s Wholesale Club.”
Delaney joined Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s in May 2016 as executive vice president and chief growth officer. He became executive VP and chief commercial officer in February 2018. Before coming to the warehouse club retailer, Delaney was a partner at the Boston office of Bain & Co., where he was a leader in the firm’s consumer products practice, and prior to that worked for Electronic Data Systems and Deloitte Consulting.
“We have great opportunities ahead of us, and I’m thrilled to lead a strong team as we execute our strategic priorities,” Delaney stated. “The new structure will enable us to create a seamless membership experience from acquisition to renewal while providing the outstanding value and service that members expect from BJ’s Wholesale Club. I look forward to building on our momentum as we continue our transformation.”
BJ’s, which became a public company again in June 2018, operates 217 wholesale clubs and 141 BJ’s Gas locations in 16 states.
Sprouts Farmers Market has appointed Jack L. Sinclair as its new CEO and member of its board of directors. Sinclair has more than 35 years of experience in the grocery industry, most recently serving as the CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores. He also served as 99 Cents Only’s chief merchandising officer, and was executive vice president of Walmart‘s U.S. grocery division from 2007 to 2015.
Sprouts is facing many shifts all at once in its corporate team, which can be overwhelming for a company, particularly one that’s expanding as rapidly as the natural grocer is. But with the right guidance and strategy, Sprouts could thrive under its new leadership.
Sinclair’s past experience in food retail could help Sprouts stay relevant as it moves into new markets and updates stores in existing ones. His work with Walmart’s grocery division as it was shifting to e-commerce could help Sprouts connect with shoppers in-store and online. His year as CEO for 99 Cents Only Stores, which has undergone major debt dealsand pressure from the crowded discount store space, will add expertise for Sprouts in dealing with competitive markets.
The transition from one executive to the next can be a rocky time for retailers as both the company and executive acclimate to each others’ visions, plans and working styles. Major projects and business goals can be put on hold, but it can also spark new ideas and kickstart growth. Sprouts’ stock price was down 3% Friday morning following the news of the leadership changes, indicating some investor uneasiness.
Under previous CEO Amin Maredia, Sprouts charted an aggressive expansion plan of around 30 stores a year and a runway to 1,200 stores nationwide. Small stores, reasonable prices and an abundance of fresh offerings have been the company’s signature features. Sprouts has shown a willingness to adjust its approach, with new stores now featuring an “enhanced” format that offers more prepared foods. The company is also remodeling existing stores under this format and introducing more private label products.
In its past few quarterly earnings, Sprouts has reported growth in e-commerce and store brands, as well as strong new store sales. The company has been expanding and is on target to open 28 new stores in fiscal 2019, per its first quarter earnings report.
Source: Grocery Dive