Eric Winn has been promoted to chief operating officer, a newly created position, at C&S Wholesale Grocers.
Keene, N.H.-based C&S said Thursday that Winn, previously president of the commercial division, now will oversee both the commercial and supply chain organizations to provide a more seamless customer experience.
Winn’s expanded role comes with the upcoming retirement of Chief Supply Chain Officer Peter Fiore. Plans call for Fiore to remain on the leadership team as a strategic adviser until he retires at the end of 2022.
“Eric and Peter have been integral to C&S’ transformation,” CEO Bob Palmer said in a statement. “Peter has created a best-in-class supply chain organization that is the foundation of our continued growth. Eric has strategically realigned the commercial team to holistically serve all customer needs. His leadership across both areas of our business will create a seamless customer experience.”
Winn (left) had served as C&S commercial president since July 2020, following his promotion from senior vice president and general manager of the Western region and national business development. His more than 17 years at C&S span a range of roles, including in supply chain, procurement, operations, sales, merchandising, and planning and analytics.
With more than 40 years in the grocery industry, Fiore began his distribution career in 1978 as a warehouse selector at Purity Supreme, eventually leading their perishable maintenance and transportation operations. In 1992, he joined C&S through its acquisition of Purity Supreme and led warehouse, transportation and facilities/maintenance operations. He became senior vice president of warehouse operations in 2004 and was promoted to executive vice president of distribution operations in 2013.
Fiore (left) had retired at the end of 2018 after 26 years at C&S but then returned in 2020 as chief supply chain officer with the exit of Chris Smith, who joined the company in October 2018, to Walgreens Boots Alliance (and earlier this month to McLane Co. as grocery president).
As president of commercial, Winn led the commercial organization in support of independent and chain customers and oversaw C&S’ expansion in the retail market. The latter includes a November deal to acquire 12 Tops Friendly Markets supermarkets and convert them to Grand Union grocery stores.
In July, C&S unveiled an agreement to acquire Sheboygan, Wis.-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest, which added 11 Piggly Wiggly corporate-run stores. Currently, C&S licenses the Piggly Wiggly banner to about 530 independently owned and operated supermarkets in 17 states through its Piggly Wiggly LLC subsidiary. And the day after announcing the Piggly Wiggly Midwest deal, C&S reported the hiring of former Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan as senior vice president of retail, a newly created position. At the time, Palmer said McGowan will lead the company’s expansion into the retail and franchise space, which he described as “an active part of C&S’ growth strategy.”
The nation’s largest grocery distributor, C&S supplies more than 7,700 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions, offering over 137,000 products.
“C&S has made tremendous progress in the evolution of our business model,” Chairman Rick Cohen stated. “The recent announcements regarding our further expansion into retail with the purchase of Piggly Wiggly Midwest and the relaunch of the iconic Grand Union supermarkets demonstrate that our innovative strategies will drive our long-term success.”