Royal Ahold appoints CEO of Giant division



Royal Ahold has promoted an executive from within the company to serve as the new president and chief executive officer of its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover supermarket chain, the Dutch food company said yesterday.

Jose Alvarez, currently executive vice president of supply chain and logistics at Stop & Shop/Giant, will move into the new position over the next month. He will replace Marc Smith, who in February announced his retirement.

Alvarez takes the helm at a challenging time for the Stop & Shop/Giant division, which has faced increased pressure as midtier grocers get squeezed by discounters and high-end specialty food markets.

Ahold announced last week a plan to boost performance at the grocers that will include lower prices, larger stores and more of an emphasis on private-label brands. Anders C. Moberg, chief executive of Ahold, also said he would look at ways to cut costs, including renegotiating union contracts.

Ahold merged the administrative functions of Stop & Shop and Giant in 2004 to gain efficiency. Under the consolidation, Giant moved its headquarters from Landover to Quincy, Mass. The grocer also sold businesses, including a dairy plant. Giant is still the largest supermarket chain in the Baltimore-Washington area, but its market share has slipped since the overhaul. Customers have complained about declining service and out-of-stock items.

Alvarez, a 15-year supermarket industry veteran, joined Stop & Shop/Giant in 2001 and held the positions of senior vice president of logistics and vice president of strategic initiatives. He has also worked at Shaw's Supermarkets, American Stores Co. and Jewel Food Stores.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.