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    Grocery Outlet Names New Co-CEOs; Preps for Aggressive Growth

    BERKELEY, Calif. -- Extreme-value retailer Grocery Outlet Inc. here yesterday promoted MacGregor Read and Eric Lindberg to co-chief executive officers, to spearhead a strategy for aggressive growth over the next few years.

    BERKELEY, Calif. -- Extreme-value retailer Grocery Outlet Inc. here yesterday promoted MacGregor Read and Eric Lindberg to co-chief executive officers, to spearhead a strategy for aggressive growth over the next few years.

    Read was v.p. of real estate, while Lindberg was v.p. of purchasing. They now will be responsible for driving the company's future business strategies, and will also work with Bob Tiernan, president/c.o.o., to drive the company's day-to-day operations.

    Steven Read, who had been c.e.o., is now executive chairman. Peter Read remains chairman. Both are owners of the company and sons of its founder, Jim Read.

    "MacGregor and Eric have both made significant contributions to Grocery Outlet, and are the nucleus of a great team charged with guiding us into our next phase of growth," said Steven Read.

    "Eric and MacGregor have both done a sensational job, worked hard and advanced [Grocery Outlet's] market opportunity," said Peter Read.

    MacGregor Read began his career in the food industry with Lucky Stores in 1986. After graduating from the University of Pacific, he went to work for Del Monte Foods as a product manager. In 1996 he joined Grocery Outlet, where he advanced through several positions until becoming the v.p. of real estate and construction in 2004, responsible for the most aggressive new store growth in the history of the company.

    Eric Lindberg's career at Grocery Outlet also began in 1996. After starting in store operations, his career has taken him through the entire purchasing department: dry grocery, perishables, and GM/HBC. Lindberg was promoted to v.p. of purchasing in 2001, where he has managed a team of 26 professionals.

    MacGregor Read is the son of Steven Read, and Lindberg is the son-in-law of Peter Read.

    "This is part of an evolutionary process that has been happening for years," Jon Wylie, v.p. of marketing told Progressive Grocer. "Grocery Outlet is looking to grow aggressively -- at least 10 percent in 2006 -- so our executives thought that now was the appropriate time to make the transitions."

    Indeed, the retailer plans to open its next new store March 11 in Paradise, Calif. The store will have a traditional Grocery Outlet footprint of approximately 14,000 square feet of sales space.

    Grocery Outlet operates 124 stores six Western states and Hawaii.

    -- By Joseph Tarnowski

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