Jewel-Osco on Thursday named Shane Sampson as the new president of the Itasca, Ill.-based grocery store chain.

Sampson was previously the president of Alberstons' Boston-based Shaw’s division, and assumes the role that had been held by Jim Rice on an interim basis since January, when former Jewel-Osco president William Emmons retired. Rice will now be the president of the company's Shaw’s/Star Markets division.


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The change in Jewel-Osco leadership comes at a time when the Chicago-area retailer is facing stiff competition from competitors including Whole Foods Market and Mariano’s.

The retailer also said Thursday that it was purchasing five more of the shuttered Dominick’s stores. Safeway, the chain’s owner, said in October that it was pulling out of the Chicago market and putting all 72 of its Dominick’s stores up for sale. Jewel-Osco had previously purchased and remodeled four of the closed Dominick’s. This new purchase includes city and suburban locations.

Jewel-Osco’s parent company, New Alberston’s, said it is investing approximately $100 million in new projects and in remodeling stores.

Read more: Jewel transforms former Dominick's stores

At Shaw’s, Sampson was credited with launching a turnaround effort that was gaining traction.

“Under Shane’s inspiring leadership, the team has generated tremendous momentum in restoring the tradition of excellence at Shaw’s and Star Market — highest quality fresh departments, delighting our customers with service, and maintaining first-class store conditions every day,” said Justin Dye, COO of New Albertsons Inc., the Albertsons division that operates both Shaw’s and Jewel-Osco. “I am equally proud of Jim Rice and the entire team at Jewel Osco; they have refocused the culture and operations to take the very best care of our loyal customers.”

A fourth-generation grocer, Sampson started with Albertsons as a courtesy clerk and held positions of increasing responsibility at the store, district and division levels. He had previously been president of the Intermountain and Florida divisions of Albertsons. Before joining NAI in March 2013, he was SVP of operations at Giant Food.

Rice also has more than three decades of experience in grocery retail, starting with Albertsons in California as a part-time worker before becoming a store manager and later a district manager in both Florida and Las Vegas prior to being named Northern California Division VP. He was named Southwest Division president in 1999, a position he held until 2005 when he left the company to pursue other opportunities. He joined Jewel-Osco  in 2013.

Photo gallery: Downtown Jewel-Osco gets a makeover

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