Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA-headquartered SuperValu Inc. on December 2 announced that Eric Claus has been named the new chief executive officer of Save-A-Lot, its hard-discount grocery operation, effective on or before January 4, 2016. The 59-year-old retail veteran joins the company after spending the past two-plus years as the chairman, president and ceo of Red Apple Stores Inc., a chain of value retail outlets in Canada.
SuperValu also announced that 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 the incoming ceo on 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 garnered deep experience in both hard discount and grocery retail. He has served as ceo for Co-Op Atlantic, president and ceo at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), first in the Canadian division and then overseeing the USA operations from 2005-09, and as an advisor to private equity firms on the retail and consumable goods industry.
SuperValu Inc. is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the United States, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion and approximately 40,000 employees. It serves customers across the nation through a network of 3,395 stores composed of 1,854 independent outlets 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).