Target has chosen a veteran supermarket executive to revive its struggling grocery business.
Jeff Burt, the head of Kroger’s Fred Meyer division, has spent 30 years at Kroger, most recently overseeing the Cincinnati-based retailer’s more than 130 multi-department stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Based in Portland, Ore., those Fred Meyer stores sell both groceries and general merchandise, similar to Target’s business model.
Target’s food business is reeling amid price competition with both rival discounter Walmart and online retailer Amazon. Target has moved deeper into selling discounted groceries as a strategy for driving foot traffic to its stores.
In this role, Burt was responsible for the executive management of stores, fuel stations, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and 38,000 employees. During his career at Kroger, he held a number of leadership positions, including leading the chain’s central division, overseeing various merchandise categories, overall merchandising and operations.
He will report to Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton.
“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. His vast industry expertise will accelerate our plans to bring a unique food and beverage experience to Target guests,” said Tritton, in a statement.
Burt will join the company on April 10 and will relocate to Minneapolis, where Target is based.
Kroger on Monday named Joe Grieshaber, the head of its Columbus division, the new president of the Fred Meyer division. Dan De La Rosa, a vice president of merchandising for Fred Meyer, was promoted to president of Kroger’s Columbus Division.
Source: USA Today