Observers say McMullen can move quickly not because of haste but because of confidence. He worked alongside former CEO David Dillon for years, developing not only the “Customer 1st” strategy but the growth phase on top of it, which now is roaring to life.
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“When the investors hired me, I wasn’t interested in shutting all the stores down,” Miller told SN.
“I asked if they would let us try to make the stores successful, and they said OK. Once we started focusing on the stores that were left, the investors got all their money back, with some profit, and they changed their minds [about selling the rest because] the stores were generating cash.”
“So Edwards has become the architect of that transition,” one industry observer told SN. “His goal is to manage a successful sale of Safeway — that’s his job.
“Edwards is pretty direct, and he’s made it clear he wants to be known as the guy that delivered value for shareholders — and that is exactly what he’s doing,” one observer told SN.
“A lot of work has been done there on the customer side at Food Lion,” Muller told SN.
I want us to build on our heritage as a great wholesaler, the core of who we are,” said Duncan.
“Walter is a true believer in the mission of the natural foods movement,” said Jay Jacobowitz, president of natural products consultant Retail Insights, Brattleboro, Vt.
“The broad appeal of our model has allowed us to operate successfully in a variety of market sizes, from lifestyle areas in California and Colorado to non-traditional natural foods markets such as Texas and Oklahoma,” said Sanders.
“And so the chatter I continue to hear is that AmazonFresh is doing fantastic from an order frequency point of view but that its reach and its membership base is still challenged,” said Keith Anderson, VP, RetailNet Group.
Bill Gates extols its benefits. A handful of U.S. counties ban its cultivation. And industry stakeholders are starkly divided on whether to label foods containing it.
In addition to SN's full Power 50 list, editors selected the executives from the list that are rising in influence in the industry for the Trending 10.
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