Lori Raya Joins SpartanNash as Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer
SpartanNash has named Lori Raya its chief merchandising and marketing officer (CMMO), effective Feb. 8. She succeeds Larry Pierce, who is retiring in September 2019 and will transition his duties over to her. Raya, Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer in 2017, joins the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based wholesaler after a 31-year stint at Albertsons, where she most recently held the role of division president.
As CMMO, Raya will be responsible for the development and execution of the wholesaler’s merchandising and marketing strategy, ensuring alignment with the company’s overall business strategy, and providing strategic direction to develop, analyze and implement product assortment, brand positioning, sales planning, pricing, promotion, sourcing, and distribution for independent grocers and corporate-owned stores. This includes directing in-depth research and analysis of consumer trends and sales performance, and driving innovation to enhance the customer experience in store and online. She will also be responsible for increasing sales and market share, improving productivity and profitability, and cultivating an engaged, customer-centric work force. Raya will report to SpartanNash President and CEO David Staples.
“Lori’s success as a strategic thinker, collaborative influencer, change manager, community contributor and visionary leader has enabled her to lead marketing and merchandising teams to deliver innovative, customer-focused changes while driving sales and supporting associate development,” Staples said. “Her career path is also inspiring to all those who love this industry and want to help take the company to the next level. We look forward to having her on board.”
Raya began her career in grocery with Safeway, moving through the ranks from a store associate to store manager, district manager, VP of retail operations, group VP of strategic initiatives, and multiple food-category senior management positions before becoming the first female divisional president in Vons' 107-year history in 2012. Three years later, she was named division president for the merged Albertsons/Safeway company, where she led the post-merger transition and integration of multiple banner teams within her division for the second-largest grocery store chain in the United States, with more than 2,200 stores and 250,000 employees.