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Loblaw Names Joe Fresh Prez

Loblaw Cos. Ltd., owner of Joe Fresh, has promoted Mario Grauso to president of the brand, which encompasses apparel, accessories, footwear and Joe Fresh Beauty cosmetics. Grauso was previously Joe Fresh's COO.

In his new role, Grauso, who continues to report to Joe Mimran, president of Joseph Mimran & Associates and creative director of Joe Fresh, now oversees business strategy, operations, marketing, international development, merchandising, sourcing and design functions for the brand.

The promotion is part of a previously reported company-wide management reorganization at Loblaw that includes Executive Chairman Galen Weston's assumption of the additional role of president of the Brampton, Ontario-based grocery chain.

"Since joining Joe Fresh in September 2013, Mario Grauso has managed the successful growth of Joe Fresh, in partnership with Joe Mimran," noted Weston. "Over the past 10 months, the brand has opened stores in South Korea and Saudi Arabia, with an extensive international rollout plan in place. Joe Fresh continues to solidify its U.S. presence and will launch e-commerce there next month."

A free-standing Joe Fresh store in the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is slated to open later this month, and further plans call for more than 140 locations in 23 countries over the next five years.

Before joining Joe Fresh, Grauso was president of Vera Wang Group. Earlier in his career, he was president of Puig Fashion, the parent company of Carolina Herrera; Nina Ricci; and Paco Rabanne.

In Canada, Joe Fresh products are available online and in more than 340 retail locations, among them 16 free-standing and studio stores. In the United States, Joe Fresh operates six free-standing stores in New York and can be found in 650-plus JC Penney stores.

With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and associate-owners employ about 192,000 full- and part-time employees, making the company one of Canada's largest private-sector employers. Loblaw operates more than 1,050 grocery stores spanning the value spectrum from discount to specialty.

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