- Smart & Final announced on Friday that Scott Drew has been named president of the company, filling the role currently held by Dave Hirz, who is retiring on Feb. 1, 2022.
- Drew, who serves as chief operating officer, has been with the California-based grocery warehouse chain since 2010 and before that worked as vice president of store operations for Kroger in Indianapolis.
- In the same announcement, Smart & Final shared that its parent company, Bodega Latina Corp., which is a U.S.-based subsidiary of Grupo Comercial Chedraui, is changing its name to Chedraui USA.
In filling Hirz’s role, Smart & Final tapped an executive who has also spent more than a decade at the company and has more than 45 years of grocery industry experience.
Drew started his grocery career in 1977 as a courtesy clerk. From late 2005 to 2009, he worked at Kroger, overseeing store operations for more than 150 locations in five states.
Drew arrived at Smart & Final in March 2010 as senior vice president of store operations and then, between 2015 and 2020, held several executive vice president positions overseeing administration, operations and the retail stores, according to his LinkedIn profile. He became COO in 2020.
“Our differentiated offering, which attracts both business and household customers, puts us in a unique position to grow the business and capitalize on our momentum during the past few years,” Drew said in a statement.
Hirz joined Smart & Final as president and COO the same year Drew joined and was promoted to CEO in 2012. Under Hirz's leadership, Smart & Final expanded its Extra store format and rolled out e-commerce and delivery. Previously, Hirz was president of Ralphs Grocery Company and Food 4 Less Supermarkets, both subsidiaries of Kroger. Hirz started working in the food industry when he was 16.
Now at the helm of the 150-year-old chain, Drew is poised to lead Smart & Final as it navigates expanding its footprint and reaching more Hispanic consumers. Its warehouse stores sell pack sizes to consumers and business clients at competitive prices.
The company is looking to grow its stores following its acquisition earlier this year from private equity owner Apollo Global Management for approximately $620 million plus debt. Parent company Bodega Latina is undergoing changes as well. Its newly announced name change provides closer association with Grupo Comercial Chedraui, one of Mexico's largest retailers. Chedraui USA will consist of U.S.-based store banners Smart & Final, El Super and Fiesta Mart.