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MINNEAPOLIS - Nash Finch Co. named Christopher A. Brown e.v.p./food distribution, reuniting the exec with his former employer as well as his former colleague, the wholesaler's c.e.o. Alec Covington.
Brown, 44, whose most recent gig was c.e.o. of online grocer SimonDelivers, will join Nash Finch on November 6. He will lead the company's food distribution group, and will report to his former Supervalu and Richfood Holdings co-worker, Alec C. Covington, who joined Nash Finch as president and c.e.o. last April.
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As previously reported, Nash Finch is consolidating its customer-related sales and marketing activities into the food distribution group, while also transitioning certain food distribution logistics into supply chain management, in an effort to sharpen the company's focus on growing sales, enhance customer service and improve retail execution.
"I am pleased to hear that Christopher is rejoining Nash Finch, and frankly wondered what took so long," said one food industry official that requested anonymity.
The source predicted that Brown will have "plenty of senior-level decision-making opportunities and will be a welcome addition to the realigned Nash Finch team. Alec and Christopher were a formidable duo when they worked together at Richfood, and I don't think it will be too long before we see a series of positive changes take shape at the company, which have been long in coming."
Covington called Brown "the ideal candidate to lead our refocused food distribution group. He brings a wealth of experience in the grocery industry - both in the wholesale and retail arenas - and has extensive expertise in several key areas of operations, including procurement, merchandising and marketing."
During his three-year tenure as c.e.o. of SimonDelivers, Brown spearheaded the design and implementation of a new company structure, which resulted in sales volumes and gross profit margins improvements. He also led significant customer service and convenience enhancing initiatives.
Brown was e.v.p./merchandising at Nash Finch from 1999-2003, where he was responsible for all merchandising, procurement, marketing, category management, and advertising. During the eight years prior, he held various management positions of increasing responsibilities at Richfood Holdings, Inc.
Brown holds a BS/BA degree from Winona State University.
Nash Finch's core business, food distribution, serves independent retailers and military commissaries in 31 states, the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Iceland, the Azores and Honduras. The company also owns and operates a base of retail stores, primarily supermarkets under the Econofoods, Family Thrift Center and Sun Mart trade names.