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CS_Wholesale_Grocers-truck_1_0.png C&S Wholesale Grocers
C&S announced Mark McGowan’s appointment a day after unveiling a deal to acquire Piggly Wiggly Midwest.

Ex-Stop & Shop chief Mark McGowan joins C&S Wholesale Grocers

Ahold retail veteran to lead distributor’s retail expansion strategy

C&S Wholesale Grocers has hired former Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan as senior vice president of retail, a newly created position.

C&S said Friday that McGowan starts in the post effective immediately. He left Ahold Delhaize USA’s Stop & Shop supermarket chain at the end of 2019, after Giant Food President Gordon Reid took the reins as Stop & Shop’s president in late July of that year.


The hiring of McGowan (left) was announced a day after C&S unveiled a deal to acquire Sheboygan, Wis.-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest. Under the transaction, C&S would acquire 11 Piggly Wiggly Midwest corporate stores and serve 84 Piggly Wiggly franchisees in Wisconsin plus 14 Butera Market supermarkets in the Chicagoland area.

C&S currently licenses the Piggly Wiggly banner to about 530 independent supermarkets in 17 states via its Piggly Wiggly LLC affiliate. Most of those stores are located in the Southeast.

“We are very excited to have Mark’s leadership in this important market,” C&S Wholesale Grocers CEO Bob Palmer said in a statement. “With yesterday’s announcement on C&S’s agreement with Piggly Wiggly Midwest with the intent to purchase the Wisconsin-based wholesaler, his leadership will be critical as we expand into the retail and franchise space, which is an active part of C&S’s growth strategy.”

At Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop, McGowan led more than 65,000 employees at 416 stores in the Northeast. He served as president of both Stop & Shop and Ahold Delhaize USA’s New England division since June 2015, when he also held the role of executive vice president of operations for Ahold USA before the completion of the Royal Ahold-Delhaize Group merger in July 2016.

Prior to that, McGowan also held such roles as executive vice president of merchandising and executive vice president of supply chain for Ahold USA and president of Stop & Shop New England in a nearly 30-year career at Ahold.

Overall, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers supplies more than 7,700 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions and offers over 137,000 products.

In late 2019, C&S agreed to sell three warehouses — two in York, Pa., and one in Chester, N.Y. — to Ahold Delhaize USA, which had announced a plan to shift to self-distribution. Ahold Delhaize also acquired the lease for a C&S facility in Bethlehem, Pa. C&S said that, in continuing a 30-year relationship with Ahold Delhaize USA companies, it will serve as the third-party labor provider at the York and Chester warehouses.

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