Kroger veteran Jeff Burt has joined Target Corp. as SVP, grocery, fresh food and beverage, where he will help advance and execute the Minneapolis-based retailer's food and beverage strategy. He will begin in the role April 10 and report to Target EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer Mark Tritton.
Burt, who will relocate to the Twin Cities for the new position, most recently was president of the Cincinnati-based grocery company's Fred Meyer division. In that role, he was responsible for executive management of stores, fuel stations, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and 38,000 employees. Prior to that, he held a number of other leadership positions at Krgoer during a 30-year tenure, including leading the chain's central division, overseeing various merchandise categories, overall merchandising and operations.
“After an extensive search to find a new leader to join our team, I’m confident that Jeff is the right person for the charge,” Tritton said. “His vast industry expertise will accelerate our plans to bring a unique food and beverage experience to Target guests. He’s an enthusiastic and passionate leader with the deep knowledge in food and beverage that Target needs to build on recent progress and drive future growth.”
Upon Burt's resignation, Kroger named Joe Grieshaber, previously president of Kroger's Columbus division, the new president of Fred Meyer.
The timing of Burt’s departure from Kroger to join Target is the latest development in the latter’s ongoing quest to transform its grocery business as a foundational element of its overall strategy. “We're very focused on improving our grocery performance [and] we haven't just been standing still," Target Corp. CEO Brian Cornell explained at the company's investors’ meeting earlier this month. "We've got more work to do and we're certainly not satisfied with where we are, but we have been making progress.”
Target Corp. operates 1,806 stores.