- SpartanNash chief financial officer Chris Meyers has resigned from the company effective July 14, according to Supermarket News. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SpartanNash said Meyers is departing due to “personal reasons.”
- Meyers came to SpartanNash last April from specialty wholesaler KeHe Distributors, where he served as CFO. He took over the post from Dave Staples, who currently serves as SpartanNash’s CEO.
- The company said Thomas Van Hall, who served as SpartanNash’s VP of finance from 2001 to 2015, will fill the CFO role on an interim basis.
During his tenure with SpartanNash, Meyers played an integral role in the company’s acquisition of specialty distributor Caito Foods. That $217.5 million deal, which netted a strong prepared foods and fresh-cut produce business, was credited as a driving force behind SpartanNash’s strong first-quarter earnings this year.
Meyers also oversaw two multimillion-dollar deals while working for KeHe Distributors, making him an asset in a wholesale industry that’s seeing increasing consolidation.
This announcement is the latest in a spate of recent executive resignations from large retail chains. Last month, Ian McLeod stepped down as the CEO of Southeastern Grocers, while Rick Anicetti resigned as CEO of The Fresh Market. Although the exact reason for Meyers’ departure is unknown, industry observers have said that the resignations reflect intense competitive and financial pressures in the grocery industry, and are likely to continue in the coming years.
The company Meyers leaves has a strong presence in wholesaling fueled by acquisition and growing sales of natural and organic products. But its retail segment, which includes 153 stores across various brands operating in the Upper Midwest, has struggled with deflation and increasing competition. The company’s conventional supermarkets, including Family Fare Supermarkets and D&W Fresh Markets, are having a hard time differentiating themselves in a crowded market. They are also under pricing pressure from Walmart, discounters and dollar stores.
But SpartanNash — widely viewed as a company that delivers solid results despite operating in a slow-growth Midwest market — has taken promising steps of late. It’s made a few impact hires, including a new marketing lead and a supply chain VP poached from Walmart. The company also is remodeling some stores, focusing on sustainability and implementing a chain-wide e-commerce platform that offers personalized promotions to shoppers.