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BJ's Makes Major Perishables Personnel Changes

NATICK, Mass. - BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday said it has made several changes in merchandising personnel. Brian Riccio has been promoted to s.v.p., general merchandise manager of fresh food; Jim Hilson has been promoted to v.p. of global sourcing; and Ross Medeiros has joined the company as v.p., divisional merchandise manager of fresh food, the position formerly held by Riccio.

In his new position, Riccio will be responsible for all perishable food, regional buying, and direct store delivery merchandising programs, reporting to Karen Stout, e.v.p. of merchandising. Riccio began his career with BJ's in 1984 as a food buyer. "During his 20 years with BJ's, Brian's energy and creativity have contributed greatly to the success of our food division. In his new position Brian will play a key role in shaping and executing BJ's member-centric merchandise strategy by taking our fresh merchandise to the next level," said BJ's president and c.e.o. Michael Wedge in a statement.

In his new role Jim Hilson will be responsible for developing and improving the company's merchandise sourcing capabilities on a worldwide basis, for all merchandise categories. He will also report to Stout. Hilson began his career with BJ's in 1986 as general merchandise buyer. "In this newly created position Jim will focus full-time on a key area of our business in which he has developed great expertise during his many years as general merchandise buyer. In particular, Jim will concentrate on cultivating manufacturing relationships in the Pacific Rim," noted Stout.

Ross Madeiros joins the company from Shaw's Supermarkets, where he most recently served as v.p., buying and merchandising perishables. He joined Shaw's in 1990 following an 18-year career with Star Markets. As v.p. of perishables Madeiros will be responsible for produce, frozen, seafood, dairy, fresh meat, bakery, prepared foods, and deli food merchandising, reporting to Riccio. According to Stout, "Fresh food has been the primary engine of our comparable-club sales growth over the last year and will continue to be a key driver of shopping frequency in the future. Ross brings valuable industry perspective along with his many years of experience, and we are very pleased to welcome him to our executive team."

BJ's currently operates 154 BJ's clubs, one ProFoods Restaurant Supply club, and 80 gas stations in 16 states.
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