Shaw’s New CEO Will Oversee Expansion

Jul 15, 2002
George Anderson

As president and CEO of Shaw’s Supermarkets due to succeed Ross McLaren in the fall, Paul Gannon is focused on improving and expanding many of the chain’s stores in a bid to stay competitive according to a report by the Associated Press. Tailoring stores to locations is a key to growth, says Mr. Gannon.

The chain plans to upgrade, remodel and expand more than 90 percent of its 186 New England stores, at a cost up to $8 million each. Shaw’s also plans to open 30 new and replacement stores in the next three years. These will cost between $12 million and $14 million each.

Regional competition in the industry is keen. “Ahold is expanding on one side and Wal-Mart on the other. So for Shaw’s to be a major player in the Northeast, they must achieve more scale through a significant strategic acquisition,” says Burt Flickinger III, managing director of Reach Marketing, a retail and marketing consulting agency in Westport, Conn.

Moderator Comment: Does Shaw’s need an acquisition “to be a major player in the Northeast?”

Shaw’s is already a major player in the markets it serves contrary to what others might say. If anything, the past few years have illustrated the pitfalls of growth through acquisition. Organic growth might not be as fast as acquisitions but as they say, “Slow and steady wins the race.” [George Anderson – Moderator]

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