OKLAHOMA CITY -- Homeland Stores here has named David B. Clark president and chief executive officer, filling a void created when chairman, president and CEO James Demme left the company last September to head Bruno's, Birmingham, Ala.
Clark, a 22-year food-industry veteran, who was most recently executive vice president of merchandising and distribution for Bruno's, told SN his immediate priority is to "get to know the people."
Clark, 45, said he will concentrate on growing the top line. He said Homeland will continue its promotional pricing strategy, which relies heavily on the use of a frequent-shopper card. He said there are no management changes imminent.
"The team here is a good one, and we hope to go forward and continue to build our sales." Clark said there were some similarities between Homeland and Bruno's.
"Both companies are well-known market leaders, which have been around for a long time and enjoy a strong franchise with their respective customer bases. Both companies go to market in a highly promotional fashion."
Clark said he is familiar with the Southwest, from his tenure as executive vice president of marketing for Salt Lake City-based American Stores Co.'s Alpha Beta/Jewel Osco division in the early 1990s.
In Demme's absence, Larry Kordisch, Homeland's executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer, became acting CEO. A director, Mark A. Shields, became chairman. The president post remained vacant.
Kordisch will now resume his normal duties as executive vice president for finance and chief financial officer, Clark said.
Clark joined Bruno's in 1995 as senior vice president of operations and distribution. Previously, he was executive vice president of merchandising and operations for the Cub Foods division of Supervalu, Minneapolis, responsible for stores producing sales volume of $1.7 billion.
Clark began his food retailing career with Jewel Cos. in 1976, which was subsequently acquired by American Stores Co. At American, he rose through a series of posts, ultimately becoming executive vice president of marketing for 75-store Alpha Beta/Jewel Osco division -- which had 75 stores in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Shields, Homeland's chairman, said, "We believe the accomplishments [Clark] has achieved during his career in virtually every operational aspect of the supermarket business, and the familiarity he has with Homeland's markets, make him an excellent choice to lead Homeland as it refines and implements its plans for further growth.
"We are confident his skills match the opportunity at Homeland and that he will make a strong contribution in the years ahead to the growth in the company's stockholder value."
Homeland operates 70 stores in four main marketplaces: Oklahoma City; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; and certain rural areas of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Bruno's, currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, operates 196 stores in five Southeastern states.