Giant Eagle President and COO John Lucot will retire, after 42 years, on June 30. Laura Karet, CEO of the Pittsburgh-based regional retailer, will assume Lucot's COO responsibilities, but no additional changes are planned, according to a company spokesman.
As one of the company’s most instrumental figures in recent decades, Lucot has been a member of the senior leadership team that orchestrated some of Giant Eagle's most important initiatives during a period of significant growth and diversification, including the launch of multiformat banners and the popular fuelperks! customer loyalty program.
Lucot, who began his career in 1974 as a Giant Eagle supermarket clerk, equated his longevity with the company to its dynamic role as an employer and community emissary. “The fact that I have spent my entire career with Giant Eagle is a testament to the compassionate spirit and commitment to the personal growth of others that is at the core of our wonderful organization,” he said, “and it is this commitment to serving others, including our tens of thousands of team members and millions of customers, that I will miss most.”
Lucot continued, "Throughout this difficult decision-making process, my belief in the strength and positive direction of the company has eased my mind as I begin spending less time with my Giant Eagle family, and more with my wife and children.”
Karet lauded Lucot’s legacy of contributions and dedicated service. “John’s value to Giant Eagle is immeasurable," she noted. "In addition to his expertise, steadfast leadership, and competitive and fiery spirit, the profound and positive impact he has had on the lives of our team members cannot be understated.”
During Lucot's leadership tenure, Giant Eagle experienced significant growth, entering new markets while expanding throughout its primary communities and launching such new banners as Market District. Additionally, Giant Eagle launched the fuelperks! customer loyalty initiative, which is regarded as an industry-best fuel rewards program, and also significantly enhanced its own-brands program, which now offers more than 12,000 private brands.
Lucot has held his current role since January 2012, prior to which he had executive positions in distribution, retail development, real estate and operations. Lucot was also instrumental in the development of Giant Eagle’s GetGo, real estate and independent operations businesses, while investing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital expenditures to ensure that the company’s stores deliver a world-class shopping experience.
Ranked No. 16 in Progressive Grocer's 2016 Super 50 ranking of the nation's top food retailers, Giant Eagle Inc. is one of the largest food retailers and distributors in the United States, with approximately $9.5 billion in annual sales. The regional retailer has grown to be the leading supermarket retailer in the region, with more than 420 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana.