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Albertsons taps Chad Coester to lead own brands

O Organics, Open Nature fuel fast-growing private-label portfolio

Chad Coester has been promoted to senior vice president of own brands at Albertsons Cos., taking over the role previously held by newly appointed chief merchant Geoff White.

Albertsons said late Wednesday that, in the new post, Coester will lead the Boise, Idaho-based grocery retailer’s portfolio of private brands. He previously served as group vice president of own brands.

White, formerly president of own brands, on Tuesday was announced as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Cos. His promotion came with the Sept. 7 departure of Shane Sampson, who served as both chief merchant and chief marketing officer.

Chad Coester_Albertsons_2018 - Copy.jpgAlbertsons credited Coester (left) with helping to drive the growth of the company’s own brands roster to about 11,000 products across 550 categories. The retailer said he also helped lead successful national marketing and merchandising campaigns spotlighting key private brands like O Organics and Open Nature.

In fiscal 2018, Albertsons’ O Organics, Signature, Signature Cafe and Lucerne brands each topped $1 billion in sales. Other labels in the company’s own-brand portfolio include Signature Select, Signature Reservce, Primo Taglio, debi lilly design, waterfront BISTRO and Value Corner.

“Chad brings infectious energy to everything he does. His versatile background and deep commitment to innovation will serve him well as he leads our extraordinarily talented own brands team,” White said in a statement.

Coester has served as group VP of own brands since August 2017, working out of Albertsons’ Pleasanton, Calif., office. He came to the company in March 2015 as VP of manufacturing sales and business development. In April 2016, he became VP of grocery merchandising, serving in that role until joining the own brands team in 2017.

Earlier in his career, Coester held various posts over 19 years in two separate stints at Safeway Inc., most recently as VP of manufacturing operations, a role he served in from May 2012 to March 2015. At the end of January 2015, Safeway became part of Albertsons Cos. under the retailers’ $9 billion merger deal.

Overall, Albertsons Cos. operates 2,268 food and drug stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Sav-On, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Haggen and United Express.

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