SUPERVALU Names Eric Claus New Chief Executive Officer of Save-A-Lot
By Business Wire News
By Business Wire News
SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU) today announced that retail veteran Eric Claus has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Save-A-Lot, the Company’s hard-discount grocery segment. Claus, 59, joins the Company after spending the past two-plus years as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Apple Stores Inc., a chain of value retail stores, in Canada. Claus is expected to start in his role with Save-A-Lot on or before January 4, 2016.
SUPERVALU also announced that, effective with the start of Claus’ employment with the Company, Ritchie Casteel will serve as President of Save-A-Lot, reporting to Claus, and will continue to oversee day-to-day store operations while working closely with Claus on Save-A-Lot’s market development, store growth plans and preparation for the possible spin-off of Save-A-Lot.
Claus has spent more than 30 years in the retail industry with career stops in both the United States and Canada, where he has gained deep experience in both hard discount and grocery retail. He has served as Chief Executive Officer for Co-Op Atlantic, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), first in the Canadian division and then overseeing the U.S. operations from 2005-2009, and as an advisor to private equity firms on the retail and consumable goods industry. Since July 2013, he has served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Apple Stores Inc., where he restructured and transformed the now 155-store value-oriented clothing, general merchandise and food chain.
“I’m very pleased that Eric is joining our SUPERVALU team to serve as CEO of Save-A-Lot,” said SUPERVALU President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Duncan. “He has a great background in food retailing, and is a smart and charismatic leader. His strengths in and experience with the hard discount format as well as his history leading retail companies will be important as we look to finish our fiscal year strong and as we continue to position Save-A-Lot for the future.”
Jerry Storch, the Company’s Non-Executive Chairman of the Board said, “Eric brings tremendous experience to Save-A-Lot. The SUPERVALU Board of Directors is looking forward to Eric adding his strategic and long-term planning capabilities to the Company and working together on our continued exploration of a potential separation of Save-A-Lot.”
Duncan continued, “I’m also very grateful and appreciative for all the work and positive results that Ritchie has delivered in his leadership role at Save-A-Lot. When I came to SUPERVALU, Ritchie was one of my first appointments and he has done a phenomenal job these past two and one-half years. He is a tremendous leader and operator and it reflects in the performance we’ve experienced in our corporate stores and in the confidence he’s helped restore with our licensees. I look forward to Ritchie working closely with Eric to drive sales and growth at Save-A-Lot.”
Save-A-Lot is headquartered in St. Louis, MO and has approximately 9,300 employees nationwide supporting its 1,342 stores, of which 901 are operated by licensee owners (store counts as of September 12, 2015). The business also operates 17 distribution centers across the country to support its existing stores and future store growth.
SUPERVALU announced in July 2015 that it was exploring a separation of its Save-A-Lot business, and that as part of that process it had begun preparations to allow for a possible spin-off of Save-A-Lot into a stand-alone public company. SUPERVALU is continuing preparations to separate Save-A-Lot, although at this time there can be no assurances that a separation or spin-off of Save-A-Lot will occur, or that any other changes in the Company’s overall operations will happen.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the U.S. with annual sales of approximately $18 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of 3,395 stores composed of 1,854 independent stores serviced primarily by the Company’s food distribution business; 1,342 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 901 are operated by licensee owners; and 199 traditional retail grocery stores (store counts as of September 12, 2015). Headquartered in Minnesota, SUPERVALU has approximately 40,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS RELEVANT TO FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF “SAFE HARBOR” PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995.
Except for the historical and factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, particularly those pertaining to SUPERVALU’s expectations, guidance, or future operating results, and other statements identified by words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” “intends” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including uncertainties as to the start date of Mr. Claus and as to the terms, timing or structure of any separation transaction and whether one will be consummated at all, the impact of any separation transaction on the businesses of SUPERVALU and the Save-A-Lot business on a standalone basis if the separation were to be completed, whether the operational and strategic benefits of a separation can be achieved and whether the costs and expenses of the separation can be controlled within expectations. Other factors include competition, ability to execute initiatives, substantial indebtedness, labor relations issues, escalating costs of providing employee benefits, relationships with Albertson’s LLC, New Albertson’s, Inc. and Haggen, intrusions to and disruption of information technology systems, impact of economic conditions, governmental regulation, food and drug safety issues, legal proceedings, severe weather, natural disasters and adverse climate changes, disruption to supply chain and distribution network, changes in military business, adequacy of insurance, volatility in fuel and energy costs, asset impairment charges, fluctuations in our common stock price and other risk factors relating to our business or industry as detailed from time to time in SUPERVALU’s reports filed with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Unless legally required, SUPERVALU undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.