Skip to main content

Fresh Market looks to roar with ex-Food Lion exec


After a monthslong search for a new president and chief executive, the Fresh Market Inc. has turned to a retail veteran to provide leadership at a time when the company's growth has been stagnant.

The Fresh Market announced that its board of directors has named veteran food retail executive Richard Anicetti as the company’s president and CEO, effective immediately. Anicetti has also been elected to the company’s board of directors.

Anicetti joins the Fresh Market with more than 30 years of experience across all key retail functions at Hannaford Brothers Company and Food Lion LLC. He served for eight years as president and CEO of Food Lion grocery stores, a subsidiary of Delhaize Group with more than 1,300 locations primarily in the southeastern United States. In addition, he serves as a member of the board of directors at Number Holdings, Inc., the parent company of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, where he also served as interim CEO, and he is a director on the board of Smart & Final Stores, Inc. In conjunction with his appointment to the Fresh Market, Anicetti will resign after a period of transition from his current board positions.

The appointment of a Food Lion veteran may seem counterintuitive given Food Lion's reputation in the perishables department. However, Ray Berry, founder of the company and chairman of the board of directors, said: “After an extensive search, we are delighted that Rick Anicetti will join us as the chief executive officer of The Fresh Market. Rick is a highly accomplished food retail executive serving in leadership roles at Hannaford and Delhaize. He and I have spent time together reviewing the competitive marketplace and I am impressed with his knowledge of store operations, as well as his demonstrated vision, innovation and ability to successfully run large grocery organizations. We have every confidence Rick will lead The Fresh Market effectively and creatively and are assured of the Company's future under his direction. We remain grateful to Sean Crane for his efforts towards improving our operations in this time of transition.”

Rich Noll, lead independent director of the Fresh Market’s Board of Directors, added: “As we look to return the company to growth, we focused on identifying a performance-driven leader with the ability to create a performance-driven culture. Rick will be the first CEO hired from outside the company, and we believe that he has the right combination of strategic leadership and personnel skills to lead The Fresh Market into a new phase of growth and build value for our stockholders in the coming years.”

Anicetti brings food retail experience and a track record of strategic leadership to the Fresh Market. During his tenure at Food Lion, he led a major business model transformation, changing Food Lion from a distribution company to a customer-centric organization and he was also the co-CEO of Delhaize America. After leaving Delhaize in 2010, he joined Ares Capital as a strategic advisor and served on the board of two of their portfolio companies, Number Holdings, Inc., the parent company of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC and on the board of publicly-traded Smart & Final.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead The Fresh Market,” said Anicetti. “I have admired the company’s brand and unique shopping experience for many years and believe that we have tremendous opportunity to further evolve our offerings and services. I look forward to working with our leadership team and employees to realize the growth potential of The Fresh Market.”

The Fresh Market operates 176 stores in 27 states across the United States.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds