PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle here said it has named Laura Shapira Karet as the new chief executive officer of the regional chain, succeeding her father, David Shapira, who will become executive chairman.
Giant Eagle also said it has named John Lucot president and chief operating officer. Both promotions are effective Jan. 9.
Prior to joining Giant Eagle, Karet, 42, held marketing executive positions at Sara Lee and brand-management roles at Procter & Gamble. A fourth-generation supermarket executive, she joined Giant Eagle, which is partly owned by her family, 11 years ago as vice president of marketing. She most recently was senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer.
In a 2005 interview with SN, Karet said her background in CPG marketing had prepared her well for retailing.
“Both Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee are wonderful training companies,” she told SN. “Procter in particular really teaches you to take a very strategic approach to the business. You have to understand your customers, their wants and needs, and that philosophy is applicable both on the CPG side and on the retail side.”
In an interview last week with the Pittsburgh Business Times, Karet said she planned to continue to look for places to expand the company's multiple formats — which include the upscale Market District and the discount Valu King banners in addition to traditional supermarkets and the Get Go c-store chain — within its existing geographic footprint in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.
“To me, we have a very sound strategy,” she told the Business Times. “There's lots and lots of opportunities that get presented by the strategy.”
She cited the possibility of opening a second Giant Eagle Express, the small-format store combining food, fuel and pharmacy in a 13,000-square-foot space that company debuted in Harman, Pa., in 2007.
The company's new president, Locot, 54, had been executive vice president and chief operating officer at Giant Eagle. He started his career in 1974 as a Giant Eagle supermarket clerk.
Shapira had been the CEO of Giant Eagle since 1980 and has been with the company for 41 years.
Giant Eagle, with annual sales of about $9.3 billion, operates 170 supermarkets and supplies another 58 independently owned locations, in addition to its 166-unit chain of c-stores.