Top Execs in Food Retail Join GS1 US Board of Governors

Leaders from Kroger/84.51°, Target and Wakefern to support supply chain visibility efforts
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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The cross-industry GS1 US board of governors represents companies in apparel, general merchandise, retail grocery, foodservice, health care and 20 other industries.

The GS1 US board of governors has elected four industry leaders to join the GS1 US Board: Todd James, chief data and technology officer at 84.51°/Kroger; Kraig Narr, SVP, global supply chain and logistics at Target; Mike Stigers, president of Wakefern Food Corp.; and Pavan Heda, Ph.D., VP, global trade controls and enterprise supply chain PMO at Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

The executives join other leaders who are helping guide GS1 US’ strategy to encourage the adoption and use of GS1 Standards as a common foundation for retail commerce, consumer experiences and supply chain management. The cross-industry board represents companies in apparel, general merchandise, retail grocery, foodservice, health care and 20 other industries.

“These accomplished leaders’ experience in shaping successful supply chains for four of the most prominent companies in the world will be instrumental in helping us guide our members in their respective transformation efforts,” said Bob Carpenter, president and CEO of Ewing, N.J.-based GS1 US. “As the world moves deeper into a digital economy, unique identification of products, entities, locations and more will remain critical to connecting physical and digital channels to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers and also to provide deeper levels of visibility for all stakeholders in supply chains.”

Leading Kroger’s data and advanced analytics agenda, James has broad responsibility across both Kroger and its 84.51° subsidiary. He leads technology, data science, research and development, and consumer research profit and loss at 84.51°. Additionally, at Kroger he’s responsible for digital analytics, business intelligence, research and development, and enterprise data. James heads efforts to build on Kroger’s rich data, science and technology capabilities, drive digital transformation, and pave the way for further growth.

At Target, Narr is responsible for design engineering, activation, and product teams that create solutions to enable a superior customer and associate experience. Since joining Target in 1998, he has held various roles across the Target technology teams, most recently as VP of stores and supply chain technology.

Stigers joined Wakefern in 2023 as president. He brings to his latest role five decades of food industry knowledge and has a distinguished track record in both the retail and wholesale sides of the supermarket business, having held executive roles in the areas of operations, merchandising, supply chain and fresh. 

The GS1 US board of governors features executives from such organizations as Amazon, The Coca-Cola Co., Dot Foods Inc., Golden State Foods, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Publix Super Markets, Topco Associates LLC, Walmart and Wegmans Food Markets. 

Best known as a source for UPC barcodes, GS1 is a not-for-profit global data standards organization that creates a common language for companies to identify, capture and share trusted data that links their physical and digital supply chains.

Serving more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. With nearly 2,000 locations, Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100. Both Kroger and Target were included on the publication’s Retailers of the Century list. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100.

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