BROADER 'REINVENTING' KASH N' KARRY

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Following the announcement earlier this month that Kash n' Karry plans to change its banner to Sweetbay Supermarkets over the next three years (see Page 10 for more on this), the chain's president explained her underlying business strategies to a group of distribution executives here last week.Speaking at Food Marketing Institute's 2004 Distribution Conference, Shelley G. Broader,

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Following the announcement earlier this month that Kash n' Karry plans to change its banner to Sweetbay Supermarkets over the next three years (see Page 10 for more on this), the chain's president explained her underlying business strategies to a group of distribution executives here last week.

Speaking at Food Marketing Institute's 2004 Distribution Conference, Shelley G. Broader, who became Kash n' Karry's president and chief operating officer last June, stressed the importance of openly communicating her goals throughout the company.

It's important to "find a way to teach your strategy to all of your associates, not just management," she said. "The key to our success will be having all of our people understand our strategy and what their individual roles can be. If they feel a connection to management, they will work so hard to fulfill their mission."

To that end, after joining 103-unit Kash n' Karry, based in Tampa, Fla., Broader set up five days of "back-to-back meetings" with "every salaried associate" -- over 1,100 people. "I told them, 'I'm here to reinvent the organization. The way Kash n' Karry has gone to market in the past isn't going to get us where we need to go. And I'm asking for your help,"' she said.

She also shared personal information about herself in the meetings, such as her age (39), place of birth (Spokane, Wash.), college (Washington State University), family situation (married with two young children) and interests (sports fan). Professionally, Broader previously held a slew of positions at Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, like Kash n' Karry a division of Delhaize America, Salisbury, N.C. She still reports to Ron Hodge, chief executive officer of both Hannaford and Kash n' Karry.

Providing personal information about herself reflects her belief that chief executives need to "lead with your person," she said. It's important that an executive display the same personality on the job that he or she shows elsewhere, she said.

Broader said she also provided salaried associates with "financial, directional and confidential information about the direction of the company -- everything I could legally tell." She scoffed at the notion that such openness was imprudent. "I think we're paranoid in this industry," she said. "The last I checked, we're all using pretty much the same vendors. So my guess is our competition already knows the strategic direction we're heading in."

Broader told SN at the Distribution Conference that she was still deciding which companies within Delhaize would support various functions at Kash n' Karry and whether to outsource functions. IT and supply chain are supported by Hannaford, an arrangement that is "working out fine for us," she said.