WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Michael J. Teel, grandson of the founder of Raley's here and son of the chain's co-chairpersons, has been named president of the family-owned company.
which account for sales of just under $2 billion, he said. The chain also plans to test a more perishables-oriented format at its Bel Air Markets in Sacramento to try to differentiate them more from Raley's, and to continue to evaluate its Food Source warehouse stores, Teel added. Teel, 45, is the grandson of Thomas J. Raley, who founded Raley's in 1935 and died in 1991, and the son of Jim and Joyce Raley Teel, who are Raley's co-chairpersons.
Teel succeeds Charles L. Collings, 71, president and chief executive officer, who retains the title of CEO and remains a member of Raley's board of directors. Collings is scheduled to retire as CEO in June 1998, Teel said. The change in top management had been expected since Teel rejoined the company in September 1989 after several years in the advertising business. Teel spent two years working as an administrative assistant to the company's executive committee and was named assistant to the president in 1993 and chief operating officer last year. Succeeding Teel as chief operating officer is David P. Steitz, 51, former executive vice president of marketing and merchandising. No successor has been named yet to Steitz's former post. The new titles became effective Aug. 1.
One of Teel's goals as president, he told SN last week, "is to become the most successful privately held supermarket and drug-center chain in the world." He said he hopes to grow the company's sales base by $1 billion over the next three and a half years, with 20% coming from new stores and 80% from acquisitions. Growth will be focused in and around the company's current trade area, which runs from the Oregon border south to Oakhurst, Calif., just north of Fresno, and all across northern Nevada. "We see plenty of room to grow because our stores are so spread out," Teel told SN, "and we feel we can expand as much as we would like with new stores. And we're also looking for acquisition opportunities within that area and possibly just outside of it. But we don't plan to move much outside our present operating area." Raley's has identified "at least 20 companies that could potentially be acquisition targets, although we have not yet approached any of them," Teel said.
The chain also has launched a test at four units of Bel Air Markets -- a 17-store chain Raley's acquired four years ago -- "to define and differentiate those stores from Raley's," Teel said. Although Bel Air emphasizes food at the expense of nonfood while Raley's devotes 40% of merchandising space to nonfood, the two store groups advertise, merchandise and procure products as a single unit. Raley's also intends to continue to evaluate Food Source, its warehouse format. The company has opened three Food Sources in the past two and a half years, "and we're getting them up to the proper level of performance," Teel said. "We're pleased with the results so far. And although we started out slowly, things have begun to accelerate, and we've looked at sites for additional units." Regarding the title changes and his planned retirement, Collings commented last week, "It has been most satisfying to me to be president of a family-owned company as a nonfamily member. Tom Raley entrusted his company to me, and the Teels continued that trust. I feel very honored."