News Briefs


Gelson’s Promotes COO John Bagan to President

Gelson's John Bagan Teaser

Gelson’s has named longtime executive John Bagan (pictured) to the role of president, with Rob McDougall remaining as CEO. The new position marks Bagan’s second promotion in little more than a year, as he was promoted from chief merchandising officer to COO in May 2021. In his latest role, he will assume greater strategic management of Gelson’s while serving on its executive team alongside McDougall, CFO Clare Bogle and CIO Ron Johnson.

Bagan joined Gelson’s as chief merchandising officer in 2016, having previously held high-level merchandising roles at Guitar Center, Albertsons and Target. He started his career as a business analyst at Morgan Stanley and then earned a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“John has been an integral part of the Gelson’s team for nearly six years, and we have benefited greatly from his business expertise and insight,” said McDougall. “I am confident that, as president, he will become an even stronger catalyst for our strategic initiatives and growth.”

Having joined Gelson’s in 2007 and risen to the dual role of CEO and president, McDougall will continue to drive company profitability and enhance the customer experience while facilitating the relationship between Gelson’s board of directors and Tokyo-based parent company Pan Pacific International Holdings

“It has been a great honor to work with the best team in our business over these last six years, and I am excited to take on this new leadership opportunity,” said Bagan. “Gelson’s is uniquely positioned to be at the center of our customers’ food experience, whether they are looking for the best-quality ingredients for the perfect family meal, delicious fully prepared offerings ready to go, or a welcoming neighborhood spot to enjoy a glass of wine and tapas, or sushi with a friend.”

Having celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2021, Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s operates 27 full-service specialty food stores in Southern California. 


Southeastern Grocers Gives $140K to 7 Feeding America Food Banks

SEG Summer Hunger 2022 Teaser

Southeastern Grocers Inc. and the SEG Gives Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, have donated $140,000 to seven Feeding America network food banks in the Southeast to help alleviate food insecurity among children during the summer, when millions of children lose access to daily meals while schools are closed.

“During these last few years, we have been faced with unimaginable challenges that seemingly never end, and more and more neighbors are finding it difficult to nourish their loved ones," said Raymond Rhee, chief people officer for Southeastern Grocers. "This donation to local Feeding America network food banks will help ease the burden on families in need while children are home for the summer.”

“Thanks to SEG’s generous donation, we will be able to provide nourishing meals to communities as we work to build a brighter, food-secure future,” added Erika Thiem, chief supply chain officer for Chicago-based Feeding America.  

The following Feeding America network food banks will each receive $20,000 to help fight hunger during the summer: Feeding Northeast Florida (Jacksonville); Feeding Tampa Bay (Tampa, Fla.); Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (Orlando); Feeding South Florida (Pembroke Park); Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana; Community Food Bank of Central Alabama (Birmingham); and Feeding the Gulf Coast (Theodore, Ala.)

In 2021, Southeastern Grocers and SEG Gives Foundation donated more than 18.6 million meals to community members in need throughout the Southeast.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer's2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


E-Commerce Pilot Takes Off at DeCA

DeCA Belvoir

It’s all systems go for a new e-commerce program at the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Last week, the agency hosted a ribbon cutting at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Va., marking the launch of its Click2Go platform.

In a test period that began June 1 and extends through Aug. 30, DeCA shoppers within a 20-mile radius of a participating commissary can order groceries online through the Click2Go service. The program is being piloted at Fort Belvoir, Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Naval Station San Diego, both in California. 

“If we can’t get the patron to the store, then we’ve got to get the benefit to the patron – that’s what Click2Go delivery is really about at these eight locations,” said William “Bill” Moore, DeCA’s director and CEO. “So far, it’s working extremely well at Belvoir, we’re knocking it out of the park here. If this pilot continues its success, we’re going to go globally, as fast as the law and contracting rules allow.”

The e-commerce program is based in part on feedback from focus groups comprised of young, single enlisted service members seeking convenience. DeCA determined that Click2Go is also an appealing option for families and disabled veterans who are challenged to visit the store.

Added Moore: “As we spread the word on this much-needed benefit to all our eligible customers, we are using technology to expand access in more convenient ways than ever before – like online shopping and curbside pickup with online payment (available now at all stores) and now our test of delivery services.”

Fort Lee, Va.-based DeCA operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. DeCA is No. 62 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


CVS to Improve Digital Customer Engagement With New Hire

CVS Tilak Mandadi

Driving a digital-first and tech-forward approach, CVS Health has appointed Tilak Mandadi EVP and the newly created role of chief data, digital and technology officer, effective July 25. Mandadi will be responsible for the company's data, digital and technology strategy while overseeing growth and innovation through digital-led, consumer-focused experiences and services.

"Technology is a catalyst for value-creation and growth at CVS Health," said CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch. "It is crucial that we continue to enhance customer engagement and experiences, and were confident Tilak will drive these efforts as we prioritize serving consumers wherever and whenever they need health care."

An example of these efforts includes the recent launch of CVS Health Virtual Primary Care, which connects the companys services, clinical expertise and data for a more coordinated and consumer-centric health care experience. The solution enables consumers to choose care when and where they want – in a retail or community-based setting, through at-home health services, or virtually.  

Mandadi joins CVS Health from MGM Resorts International, where he was chief strategy, innovation and technology officer. He also held senior digital strategy roles for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and American Express.

"CVS Health serves more than 44 million unique digital customers and is increasingly integrating digital solutions into the consumer health care experience," said Mandadi. "I look forward to helping make health care more seamless, convenient, and personalized, and driving business agility and growth through technology, data, digital and experiential innovations."

Mandadi will become a member of the company's executive leadership team and report directly to Lynch. He holds a masters degree in computer science from the University of Oregon.

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Test Program Reveals Benefits of Real-Time In-Store Digital Ads

ShopLiftr Maximizes Ad Budgets

ShopLiftr, which connects shoppers with real-time, localized deals through digital advertising experiences, has shared the results of a recent partnership with a major discount retailer. According to the Canadian tech company, the combination of video and display advertising led to an additional 44,000 incremental customer visits and spurred a 13.98% incremental lift.

The test program also spurred increased repeat visits and average basket size per customer. ShopLiftr attributed the success of the initiative to the fact that the ads help value-seeking shoppers find reasonably-priced items from their favorite brands in store, something that reflects current market dynamics.

ShopLiftr is powered by a proprietary database of active trade promotions from all major grocery chains in North America. The company works with several CPG brands and retailers to deliver personalized ad experiences at scale across North America.

“We understand that consumers want to find the products they want with ease, while saving money. At the same time, our retailer and brand partners continue to face ongoing product availability concerns. Our ad tech platform offers key differentiators that bridge that gap by delivering timely deals, with creative triggers and flexible messaging, on products available in-store now, and the sales lift results we are observing are the proof-positive that it works,” said John Scott, ShopLiftr’s co-founder and CEO earlier this year about the platform’s goals.


Cubi Market Connects Local Producers and Shoppers in Central Ohio


Cubi Market is seeking to unlock growth in central Ohio. The independent retailer, which allows customers to order items from local merchants online and pick up their orders in a temperature-controlled, easily-accessed locker, has opened a new location in the town of Granville.

“Our goal is to provide food producers to sell their items directly through Cubi Market,” explained Culinary Director Paul Mixa. “Columbus is a great market and working with the Granville market was a great first location to start.”

Several farmers, producers and artisans, such as Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch, Covered Bridge Creamery and Bird's Haven Farms, are providing goods for fulfillment. “Central Ohio is rich with farms and artisan products, and they all work closely with one another to reach those local customers. The merchants are supplying customers directly through order fulfillment at our refrigerated station, and we provide the technology for them to do so,” Mixa said.

In this venture, Cubi is also teaming up with the Granville Farmers Market as a way to extend the availability of farmers’ market fare in another venue and throughout the year. In addition to providing a new opportunity for vendors, Cubi’s team is also onsite at the town’s outdoor farmer’s market sharing the news about its operation.

Cubi is focusing on Ohio following a test program in West Michigan. While those operations recently ceased, Mixa said that the company may return to that region in the future.