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Wakefern hires former Giant exec to lead marketing

Wakefern hires former Giant exec to lead marketing

Eric Keptner also to oversee merchandising, e-commerce

Former Giant Food Stores marketing chief Erik Keptner has joined Wakefern Food Corp. as senior vice president of marketing.

The Keasbey, N.J.-based grocery cooperative, led by the ShopRite supermarket banner, said Keptner will oversee its e-commerce and analytics, advertising, corporate merchandising, private label and own brands, and social media and digital advertising divisions. 

Keptner, who started in his new post at Wakefern this week, is charged with developing marketing and merchandising strategies for the company’s retail brands, which also include The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market. The supermarket industry veteran reports to Wakefern Executive Vice President Chris Lane.

“Erik came up in the grocery business at a pivotal time for the industry and throughout his career has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to implementing consumer-centric marketing and merchandising strategies,” Lane said in a statement. “He’s a proven leader, and we are very excited to welcome him to the Wakefern team.”

Most recently, Keptner was senior vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing at Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores, a division of Ahold Delhaize. Before that, he served executive vice president of marketing for Ahold USA. His nearly dozen years at Giant also included roles as senior vice president of marketing and consumer insight and as senior vice president of marketing and communication.

The nation’s largest retailer-owned co-op, Wakefern has 50 members who independently own and operate 350 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia.

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