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Albertsons chief merchant Shane Sampson to depart

Retail grocery veteran also serves as chief marketing officer

Albertsons Cos. has begun a search for a new chief merchant and marketing officer.

The Boise, Idaho-based supermarket retailer said late yesterday that Shane Sampson, executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer, is slated to step down on Sept. 7, when the fiscal second quarter ends.

Albertsons didn’t specify a reason for his departure but said he “has decided to leave the company.” Sampson has served in the chief merchandising and marketing officer post since January 2015.

“Shane has been instrumental in building the Albertsons Cos. we know today, both at a division level and nationally,” President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said in a statement.

“Throughout his years with Albertsons and in the industry, he has mentored countless thousands in running great store,” Sankaran added. “I know that he will do great work in whatever he chooses to take on next.”  

Shane Sampson_headshot_Albertsons Cos.jpgA 35-year grocery retail veteran, Sampson (left) began his career as a courtesy clerk. At Albertsons Inc., he worked his way up through ranks, becoming president of both the Florida and Intermountain divisions. He left the company in 2002 and spent several years at Sam’s Club. He then returned to Albertson’s LLC in the Southern division and served as vice president of marketing and merchandising.

From there, Sampson left to accept the role of senior vice president of sales and operations at Ahold USA’s Giant-Landover supermarket chain. In 2013, he rejoined Albertsons as president of Shaw’s and Star Market. After that, in 2014, he moved to Chicago to take the post of president of Jewel Osco. He was appointed executive vice president and marketing and merchandising chief at Albertsons the following year.

Sankaran noted Sampson’s contributions in expanding Albertsons’ roster of private brands and its e-commerce business, as well as in supporting its stores.

“Since 2013, he has helped our team turn around operations in addition to building a robust merchandising and marketing function to help support our 2,200-plus locations,” according to Sankaran. “He launched our e-commerce business in key markets and strengthened it in areas where it had operated since 2002, and accelerated the growth of our Own Brands business by envisioning a faster, smarter way to connect with customer needs. He has been a champion for omnichannel growth both internally and with our supplier community.”

As of the end of its 2018 fiscal year, Albertsons fielded more than 11,000 private-label products, which had sales of over $12.5 billion and sales penetration of more than 25%. The company launched 1,100 new private-brand SKUS last year and said it plans to add more than 1,000 during fiscal 2019.

E-commerce sales rose 33% in the fiscal 2019 first quarter. Albertsons has brought its Drive Up & Go online grocery pickup service to 300-plus stores and plans to expand it to more than 600 by the fiscal year-end. Same-day grocery delivery through Instacart was available in all 13 of the retailer’s divisions and over 2,000 stores as of the end of the first quarter.

Overall, Albertsons Cos. operates 2,268 stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Pavilions, Star Market, Carrs and Haggen, as well as meal kit company Plated.

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