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Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. has named John Gianakas VP of center store sales. Most recently VP of center store category management at Maudlin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo LLC, Gianakas brings nearly 30 years of grocery retail experience and extensive knowledge of merchandising, category management and pricing to his new role.
A New Jersey native, Gianakas began his supermarket career as a store management trainee for ShopRite in his home state and spent four years as an assistant store manager. He moved to the Southeast in 1988 as an assistant store manager and then store manager in Augusta, Ga., for Bi-Lo. Gianakas subsequently transitioned to the corporate office in the role of manager of management training and later was appointed to the roles of manager of human resources administration, and category manager in center store. Gianakas went on to become VP of category management support, followed by VP of brand marketing and sales planning, before assuming his last role at Bi-Lo in 2010.
In his new position, performance enhancement related to center store sales will be the focal point for Gianakas, aided by the Piggly Wiggly buyer team.
“Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. will benefit tremendously from John’s experience and talent,” said David Schools, the Charleston, S.C.-based company’s president and CEO. “John’s expertise in category management, coupled with the energy and vision he brings to this new role, will certainly lead to positive outcomes at Piggly Wiggly.”
In other Piggly Wiggly executive moves, Kimberly Keller has been hired as the company’s employee rewards and communication coordinator. Before joining Piggly Wiggly, Keller worked at Comcast Spotlight as a marketing specialist. In the newly created role, she will be responsible for Piggly Wiggly’s employee rewards/recognition programs and all internal communication initiatives.
“Kimberly has a strong communications background and a sense of creativity that will take our programs to new and exciting levels,” noted director of human resources Craig Massey.
Piggly Wiggly has nearly 100 stores and more than 4,000 employee-owners across South Carolina and coastal Georgia. It was named the 2012 Independent Retailer of the Year by Progressive Grocer.