Save Mart appoints former Albertsons marketing chief as executive chairman

Diving Brief:

  • The Save Mart Companies has named retail veteran Shane Sampson as executive chairman of the Northern California-based regional supermarket chain announced Monday.
  • Sampson was previously director of marketing and merchandising (CMMO) at Albertsons, and most recently held an executive position at Jacksons Companies, an Idaho-based convenience store operator.
  • Sampson’s appointment as head of Save Mart follows the company’s disclosure last week that he was acquired by Kingswood Capital Managementa private equity firm.

Overview of the dive:

Sampson brings deep grocery retail experience to his new role at the helm of Save Mart, which is moving from decades of family control to operating as part of Kingswood’s investment portfolio.

Prior to assuming the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Albertsons, a position he held until departure from the grocery store as of September 2019, Sampson was President of Albertsons’ Jewel-Osco and Shaws/Star Market banners. He has also held senior positions at Giant Food, owned by Ahold Delhaize, Sam’s Club and cannabis supplier. Medicine man technologies.

Optional legend

Courtesy of Save Mart Companies

Although Kingswood noted in the press release detailing its acquisition of Save Mart that it “is primarily focused on investing in businesses in transition”, Sampson declined to say how he plans to put his stamp on Save Mart.

“There are always changes in this industry. I don’t think anything stays the same. But I feel really good about the team and where we’re going,” Sampson said in an interview Monday afternoon. “We’ve already started. People were working here early this morning and frankly we were all in the shops all weekend…excited to take care of our customers and our community.”

Sampson said he plans to hold a town hall meeting with Save Mart employees on Tuesday.

Sampson added that he had previous experience working with Alex Wolf, managing partner and founder of Kingswood, dating back to when Wolf was at Albertsons investor Cerberus Capital Management and Sampson worked for that grocery business. .

“Kingswood isn’t new to retail…and that gives us comfort,” Sampson said. “They are a good team that supports and understands retail [and] what we need to do to improve.”

Sampson said he thinks Save Mart, which operates about 200 stores in California and Nevada under banners such as Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx, stands to benefit because it’s “a big regional player that can be quick , nimble and nimble”.

In the announcement announcing Sampson’s appointment, Save Mart noted that he had played a role in scaling Albertsons’ private labels. This experience could prove decisive in helping Save Mart to deploy hundreds of new annually as part of an expansion of its private label activities.

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