- Raley’s is promoting Keith Knopf, former president of the grocer, to chief executive officer, succeeding owner Michael Teel. Knopf has served in an executive position since joining the organization in 2015.
- Teel, the owner of Raley’s, will continue as chairman to “work on his passions outside of the company.”
- “Keith and I are tightly aligned on the vision and direction of the company. I have confidence in him and the leadership team to lead the strategic direction to accomplish our vision,” Teel said in a statement.
Knopf is no stranger to leading change. Since he began at Raley’s in 2015, Knopf has overseen the company's expanded e-commerce presence, championed a personalized customer experience and led new store development, including the acquisition of six outlets from Scolari’s Food & Drug in Nevada. Under his leadership, the retailer also has enhanced its offerings across categories with more better-for-you options and celebrated a very public removal of candy from its checkout lines.
Prior to Raley’s, Knopf was at department store chain Kohl’s where he served as senior vice president of retail store operations and omnichannel store integration. Prior to that, Knopf held the posts of vice president of business planning, strategy and operations at specialty apparel chain Victoria’s Secret and vice president of store operations at Macy’s.
Knopf’s experience in operations has prepared him to set Raley’s on a path toward growth amid a market of changing customer preferences and a push toward supermarket integration with e-commerce and the restaurant business. After the store purchase from Scolari’s, he told the Sacremento Business Journal that, “we definitely have growth plans to expand the reach of the Raley’s organization in store counts and in customer reach.”
Although Raley’s is a northern California-based grocery store and has a comparatively small presence on the national stage — they have 129 stores in its home region — the chain is fierce competition. According to the Sacramento Business Journal, it's the fourth-largest private company in the Sacramento area, with $3.2 billion in revenue last year. It's also the region's fifth-largest private sector employer.
With so much influence, it’s no surprise that Raley’s is at the forefront of changing consumer preferences. Raley’s has long been a health-minded retailer, and it continues to take significant steps to brand itself accordingly. Last year, the company launched a Shelf Guide program to help customers understand packaging and product labels, and to offer more nutrient-rich, minimally processed items with no added sugar.
More recently, Raley’s opened its first wellness-focused Market 5-ONE-5, hired a full-time dietitian and renovated its corporate offices to include an on-site gym and walking trail, among other wellness-focused features. Perhaps its most important change recently is the company’s push toward its click-and-collect program that is intended to provide customers with more power in produce choice when ordering online.
Many of these changes were overseen by Knopf as president and indicate that he is in tune with the changes that the industry, as well as the customers it serves, is experiencing. How far he continues in that direction remains to be seen, but it is clear that Knopf is aiming to keep Raley’s competitive amid a rapidly changing grocery industry.