The Fresh Market, Inc. has appointed Larry Appel the company’s president and CEO, effective immediately. Appel, who joins the Greensboro, N.C.-based specialty grocer with nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy, has also been elected to the company’s board of directors.
The Fresh Market CFO Brian Nicholson, who was the company’s interim CEO, will remain as CFO.
From 2002 to 2012, Appel held a variety of senior leadership roles at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., among them COO, chief human resources officer, head of strategy and chief legal officer. After leaving Winn-Dixie, he was CEO of Skeeter Snacks LLC a Jacksonville-based manufacturer of natural and wholesome snacks made in a dedicated nut-free facility. From 1997 to 2002, Appel was SVP of legal at The Home Depot Inc., based in Atlanta.
Andrew Jhawar, senior partner at New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management and chairman of the board of directors at The Fresh Market, said: “Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the board believes that Larry is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward. We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to ‘win’ with our customers. We are grateful to Brian Nicholson for his efforts in improving operations during this transition period, and we value his work in the critical role of CFO as we implement our strategy under Larry’s new leadership.”
“I am committed to re-energizing all that sets The Fresh Market apart as a great brand and retail store,” noted Appel. “Its heritage and history provide a strong platform in continuing to define the company as a unique ‘specialty’ grocer, offering best-in-class products and customer service. I plan to work with our teams to further elevate every aspect of our business – all with a sharp focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every day in every store.”
Appel succeeds Rick Anicetti, who left the company in June after a little less than two years, during which he focused on revitalizing the fresh-focused format’s center store, among other attempts to create growth opportunities. Despite these measures, the specialty grocer closed five stores in five states this past April, and shuttered 13 locations across four states last year.
The Fresh Market Inc. operates 176 stores in 24 states across the United States.