- Grocery Outlet has appointed a pair of long-tenured corporate executives to its board of directors, including a senior marketing official of a marketing-focused artificial intelligence company and former member of Kellogg’s leadership team, the discount grocer announced Tuesday. The new members expand Grocery Outlet’s board to 12 members.
- The additions to the board include Gail Moody-Byrd, chief marketing officer of Noodle.ai, and María Fernanda Mejía, who served most recently as senior vice president of Kellogg and president of the CPG company's Latin American unit.
- Grocery Outlet is bringing added expertise to its board as the retailer eyes significant growth that could see its store fleet expand from nearly 400 stores to 1,500 locations in the coming years.
Grocery Outlet’s announcement that it is beefing up its board of directors comes just weeks after CEO Eric Lindberg noted during an earnings call that the company sees significant room to broaden its footprint and is making investments in infrastructure and staff to accomplish that goal.
The retailer, which currently operates in six states, is adding stores at a 10% annual clip and finished its latest quarter with 372 locations, the majority of which are independently run. The company added 10 new stores during that period.
Moody-Byrd has an extensive background in artificial intelligence, a field that is taking on increasing importance in the grocery space as retailers apply data science and manage supply chains. Noodle.ai, the company where she is in charge of marketing, provides software to help companies predict demand for products they sell as they look to make decisions about the level of inventory to keep on hand. She previously worked for enterprise software developer SAP SE and held roles at Macy’s and Target.
Moody-Byrd’s knowledge about tools to balance supply and demand could prove especially helpful to Grocery Outlet as it looks to scale its business even as spending by grocery shoppers — while still elevated by the pandemic — shows signs of slowing. The grocer saw identical store sales growth in its most recent quarter slide to 9.1%, down from 16.7% during the previous quarter. That rate of decline was greater than what other food retailers have seen in recent months.
Grocery Outlet, which relies heavily on scoring rock-bottom deals on a rotating selection of goods to support its treasure hunt-focused business model, also stands to gain from Mejía’s extensive background in the consumer packaged goods sector. In addition to her time at Kellogg, where she played roles in strategic planning, customer development and supply chain management, Mejía worked on category and brand development efforts at CPG giant Colgate-Palmolive.
Grocery Outlet has also recently focused on strengthening its executive team. A few months ago, the retailer brought on Harrison Lewis, who has 30 years of information technology experience, including time in the grocery sector, as chief information officer.