Wakefern Food Corp., the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative, has hired Erik Keptner as its SVP of marketing.Keptner brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to his new role, in which he will create marketing and merchandising strategies that build upon the co-op’s legacy of successful retail brands.
Having officially joined Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern on July 9, Keptner now oversees Wakefern’s digital commerce and analytics, advertising, corporate merchandising, private label and own brand, and social media and digital advertising divisions, reporting directly to EVP Chris Lane.
“Erik came up in the grocery business at a pivotal time for the industry, and throughout his career has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to implementing consumer centric marketing and merchandising strategies,” noted Lane. “He’s a proven leader, and we are very excited to welcome him to the Wakefern team.”
“Wakefern has a long history as a respected industry leader,” said Keptner. “I look forward to … working with the 50 cooperative member families that make up this esteemed retailer.”
His last position, which he took on in 2014, was SVP of sales, merchandising and marketing for the Giant Food Stores division of Ahold Delhaize USA, No. 4 on Progressive Grocer's 2018Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. Prior to that, Keptner was EVP of marketing for Ahold USA, and also held the roles of SVP of marketing and consumer insight from 2009 to 2012, and SVP of marketing and communication, for Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant.
Wakefern's members independently own and operate 350 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. Together with its member companies, Wakefern, No. 7 in PG's Super 50 ranking, employs more than 70,000 people.