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03/14/2022

Harps Lifts Several Directors to VPs

Arkansas retailer gears up for ongoing growth
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Harps Food Stores has announced several promotions.

Changes continue at the top at Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores. Following last month’s appointment of long-serving executive J. Max Van Hoose as president, the fast-growing, 100% employee-owned retailer has elevated several seasoned directors to new VP positions.

Among the recent round of promotions:

  • Robert Acord moves up to VP of pharmacy. He has more than 20 years of pharmacy experience and joined Harps in 2008 as the director of pharmacy.
  • Layne Chastain, who began his career with the retailer in 1978 as a meat cutting apprentice, is now VP of meat and seafood. He steadily moved into more senior roles in that category, including his most recent stint as director of meat and seafood.
  • Mike Roberts is the new VP of produce operations. He’s served in many roles in produce, starting as a part-time produce clerk in 1988 and continuing through this latest job as produce director.
  • Hydie Hale has been tapped as VP of bakery-deli. Before her promotion from director of bakery-deli, she worked in several management and merchandising roles in that area. She first came to the retailer 25 years ago as a deli clerk.
  • Shannon Kinkade, another decades-long Harps employee who began as a part-time stocker in 1985, is now VP of general merchandise. He has held several roles since then, including general merchandise director and later, general merchandise director.
  • Randall Harp is taking on the role of VP of distribution and grocery purchasing. Starting off as a bagger in 1979, Harp has served in a variety of capacities for the business, including store manager, grocery manager and district manager. He also had a seat on the board of directors.

“We are thrilled to be able to promote these outstanding directors who have played a pivotal role as the head of their respective departments in driving our company’s success during their tenures with us,” said Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO of Harps. “During the last two years, Harps has grown an incredible 43% under their capable direction. Having become a billion-dollar company in 2020, these promotions are overdue in my opinion and we are excited to see what these new vice presidents will accomplish during the years to come.”

In other company news, Harps and digital customer engagement solutions provider Birdzi recently announced that they have successfully deployed a mobile rewards app. Introduced in February, the Harps Rewards app allows the retailer to offer shoppers digital savings, personalization and enhanced shopping experience in store and online.  

Harps Food Stores operates 135 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.

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