- Albertsons has named Mary Beth West, who has held executive positions at Kraft Foods, J.C. Penney and, most recently, The Hershey Company, to its board of directors, according to a press release.
- West worked on Kraft Foods’ iconic macaroni and cheese brand for more than 20 years. The company named her chief marketing officer in 2007, and in 2012, West moved to Mondelez International. She went on to work for J.C. Penney and then Hershey's, retiring from Hershey's in January. Currently, West is a board member of entertainment company Hasbro, a position she’s held for four years.
- West is joining Albertsons at a time when the grocery store chain is ramping up its e-commerce efforts and private brand offerings.
As Albertsons looks to boost its profitability as a public company, West will bring her decades of food industry experience to “lend added depth and dimension to how our team builds lasting relationships with our customers,” President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said in the announcement.
West has built up skills with innovation and customer engagement, Sankaran noted — two areas Albertsons continues to explore. While working as the senior vice president and chief growth officer at Hershey's, West oversaw the business' growth strategy and expanded the company's offerings beyond chocolate into snack categories, the announcement said.
In June, Alberstons' long-awaited plans to go public became a reality, with the stock debuting on the New York Stock Exchange below the target share price the company was aiming for. Sankaran said at the time that the lower-than-expected share price was due to market volatility.
With the coronavirus pandemic fueling an e-commerce boom, the company has seen digital sales rise this year: 276% in the first quarter 243% in the second quarter. Albertsons has continued to add pickup locations, with the service now available at more than 900 stores. During the company's Q2 earnings call, Sankaran said he expects pickup to roll out to 1,400 of its roughly 2,250 locations by the end of the current fiscal year.
Albertsons currently operates two micro-fulfillment centers and has four under construction. The company aims to add six more MFCs over the next year and a half.
In the spring, Albertsons added live chat and virtual assistance to support customers as they shopped for groceries on the website or mobile app to help streamline online grocery orders. In October, the company announced it would roll out in-store, self-serve lockers for contactless pickup of online orders at select Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago and Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Albertsons has continued to add to its private label brands. During the summer, the company added frozen dessert items, including plant-based options, to its Own Brands private label portfolio.
Additionally, the company is looking to use its loyalty programs to increase engagement with new and existing shoppers by expanding its Just 4 U loyalty program.