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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Bruce A. Efird, the e.v.p./merchandising for Meijer, Inc. here, is leaving the supercenter chain to become president of Fred's Inc., a general merchandise discounter based in Memphis.
Efird, 48, assumes the Fred's presidency effective Sept. 22. He will succeed John D. Reier, 67, who will become vice chairman of Fred's board and will work with Efird on the transition.
Efird's appointment was made after what Fred's officials called an intensive, nine-month search.
"Bruce brings extensive merchandising, marketing and management experience from various retail venues," said Michael J. Hayes, c.e.o. of Fred's, which has been focusing heavily on infrastructure changes and merchandising upgrades to drive growth over the next five years.
In his e.v.p. role at Meijer, Efird had responsibility for all merchandising functions, including softlines, home furnishings, drugstore, general merchandise, groceries and perishables. He also was in charge of marketing and advertising functions as well as pricing and e-commerce for the chain's 179 stores across a five-state area.
Efird began his retail career with Food Lion, Inc. in 1984, was also e.v.p./g.m. for the Birmingham, Ala.-based Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc. Efird has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Lenoir-Rhyne College and is a graduate of the Executive Program at Cornell University.
There are 701 Fred's discount general merchandise stores primarily in the southeastern United States, including 24 franchised Fred's stores.