Sprouts Farmers Market has named a new chief information officer.
The fast-growing specialty retailer of fresh, natural and organic food said that James Bahrenburg has joined the company as chief technology officer. He will oversee the strategic direction and management of all aspects of Sprouts’ technology.
From 2019 to August 2023, Bahrenburg served as chief information officer of Good Food Holdings, a holding company for five grocers: Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market, and New Leaf Community Markets.
Prior to joining Good Food, Bahrenburg was with 99 Cents Only Stores for 12 years, including serving as senior VP, chief information officer, from 2016 to 2019, and VP, business process and IT planning, from 2010 to 2015. According to Sprouts, he has more than 35 years of experience in information technology.
“We are pleased to add Jim Bahrenburg to the Sprouts executive leadership team,” said Jack Sinclair, CEO, Sprouts Farmers Market. “Jim’s deep experience in retail technology leadership will be an invaluable resource as we enhance our platforms to support the continued execution of our long-term growth strategy.”
Bahrenburg joins Sprouts on the heels of the company’s 400th store opening. As part of its five-year plan, the grocer is committed to a robust growth strategy, aiming to expand 10% year-over-year.
“I’m thrilled to join Sprouts at this point in its growth trajectory,” said Bahrenburg. “I look forward to working with the team to execute on the company’s strategic technology initiatives to enhance and elevate digital platforms for Sprouts’ customers and team members.”
Sprouts’ sales rose 5% in 2022 to $6.4 billion, with comparable sales growth of 2.2%. 2.39. It reported earnings per share of $2.39, compared to $2.10 in 2021. Based in Phoenix, the company operates stores in 23 states across the U.S., including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
BJ’s Wholesale Club has a new chief information officer.
The membership warehouse club retailer named Anjana Harve as executive VP, CIO, effective immediately. She will also serve as a member of BJ’s executive leadership team.
Prior to BJ’s, Harve served as global CIO at Fresenius Medical Care where she led information technology, privacy assurance, cyber, digital and data security across key business units. She also held various CIO and technology leadership roles at Hill-Rom, Novartis and Shire, along with other senior management positions during her career.
Harve will be responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of the company’s information technology organization to drive business outcomes, optimize revenue growth and improve operating efficiencies. Harve will report to Bob Eddy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and serve as a member of BJ’s executive leadership team.
“I’m pleased to have a leader of Anjana’s experience joining BJ’s,” said Bob Eddy, chairman and CEO “She brings more than 25 years of experience driving innovative technology transformations and leading and inspiring high-performing teams. She will play a crucial role in further strengthening our technology to advance our long-term strategic growth priorities and deliver greater value for our members.”
Harve holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Bangalore University in India and a master in business administration from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., BJ’s operates 238 clubs and 168 BJ's Gas locations in 19 states.
GNC partners with wellness product data analysis platform
GNC Holdings Inc. is increasing its visibility into consumer preferences in vitamin, mineral and supplement (VMS) segments.
The vitamins and supplements retailer is partnering with wellness-focused data company SPINS as its new research partner for product development and product design in the VMS space. GNC hopes its exclusive, multiyear contract with SPINS will enable it to improve consumer integration and accelerate its innovation initiatives via SPINS’ proprietary attribution and product intelligence platform.
"GNC and SPINS share a deep commitment to deeply understanding and transforming the future of health and wellness," said Michelle Walkley, director, customer insights, GNC. "Having insight into the SPINS platform is going to enhance our current data-driven approach to understanding market trends and evolving customer needs. The SPINS data opens exciting new opportunities to even further drive customer-centricity across product development, design, and innovation."
"As consumers demand transparency, quality, and personalization in the health and wellness industry in ways never seen before, SPINS and GNC are uniquely positioned to collaborate and drive innovation together," said Andrew Henkel, executive VP of retail at SPINS. "We're excited to partner with GNC to shape the future of the VMS industry and improve the well-being of people around the world."
Walmart is adding a new feature to one of its upcoming Neighborhood Market locations in Atlanta.
In December 2022, Walmart’s store in the city’s Vine City neighborhood closed after it sustained fire and water damage due to suspected arson. The location is being converted to the retail giant’s smaller-format Neighborhood Market banner and is scheduled to reopen in May 2024. Along with a pharmacy and grocery offerings that range from prepared foods to fresh produce to full-service deli, the store will also include an Atlanta Police Department substation where an officer’s presence is intended to help deter criminal activity, reported local media source roughdraftatlanta.com.
The substation will be a place for Atlanta officers to fill out paperwork, hold meetings, or charge their phones or body cameras, according to the report. It will not be occupied at all hours.
The goal is to keep people safe, but also to make sure shrinkage does not hurt Walmart’s bottom line so “they don’t want to stay here anymore,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in the report.
The move to include the police substation comes as retailers across the board say rising levels of shrink due to organized retail crime and theft are cutting into their profits.
American Eagle cites ‘positive momentum,’ raises full-year outlook
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. reported second quarter profit and sales that exceeded expectations amid rising demand and cost-cutting efforts.
“Demand picked up in June and July reflecting brand strength and on trend collections that are resonating well with customers, supported by exciting new marketing campaigns,” said Jay Schottenstein, chairman and CEO. “It’s encouraging to see positive momentum continue into the third quarter, across brands and channels.”
The apparel and accessories retailer company reported net income of $48.57 with earnings per share of $0.25 for the quarter ended July 29, compared to a loss of $42.46 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $0.16.
Total net revenue inched up to $1.200 billion from $1.198 billion in the prior year. Store revenue rose 4%. Digital revenue declined 7%.
At American Eagle, revenue fell 1% to $767 million and comp sales declined 2%. Aerie’s revenue rose 2% to $380 — a second-quarter record. Its comp sales were flat.
Total ending inventory declined 7% to $637 million compared to $687 million last year, with units down 11%. The company said it continues to maintain inventory discipline.
“Looking to the second half, we are excited about future product arrivals, leveraging the positive response to early fall goods and delivering innovative customer connections,” said Schottenstein. At the same time, we are keeping a sharp eye on the consumer environment and planning appropriately. We are taking action to position the business for improved profit, with preliminary initiatives included in our increased 2023 outlook.”
For the year, management expects revenue to be up low single digits to last year, compared to its prior guidance for revenue in the range of flat to down low single digits. Operating income is expected to be in the range of $325 to $350 million, up from prior guidance of $250 to $270 million.
“This reflects better than expected business performance in the second quarter, in addition to strengthened demand and continued profit improvement in the back half of the year,” the company said.
The outlook includes approximately $25 million in benefits from the company’s profit improvement initiatives.
The retailer operated 1,184 stores at the end of the second quarter, including 866 American Eagle stores, 300 Aerie stores, 13 Todd Snyer stores and five Unsubscribed stores.
GameStop narrowed its second-quarter loss in a big way.
The videogame and electronics retailer reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or a loss of $0.01 per share, for the quarter ended July 29, compared to a net loss of $108.7 million, or a loss of $0.36 per share, for the year-ago quarter. Net sales inched up to $1.164 billion, compared to $1.136 billion in the prior year.
Once again, GameStop did not hold an earnings call regarding its results, which follow the firing of company CEO Matt Furlong in June and the election of elected Ryan Cohen as executive chairman. In its quarterly securities filing at the time, the company said Cohen’s leadership would “unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”
Transition costs related to European restructuring efforts were $4.3 million for the second quarter.
GameStop ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.195 billion. Its long-term debt remains limited to one low-interest, unsecured term loan associated with the French government’s response to COVID-19.