Sprouts Welcomes Five Below CEO/Walmart Veteran to Board

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Sprouts Farmers Market Welcomes Five Below CEO to Board Joel Anderson
Joel Anderson

As it accelerates its growth strategy, Sprouts Farmers Market has beefed up its board of directors with retail veteran Joel Anderson, once of Walmart and now president, CEO and a director of high-growth value retailer Five Below Inc.

“It is an honor to welcome Joel to our board of directors,” said Jack Sinclair, CEO and a director of Phoenix-based Sprouts. “Joel’s deep experience as a high-growth retail executive at companies of scale will be extremely valuable to our board as we continue to develop our strategy for long-term growth and value creation.”

Before joining Philadelphia-based Five Below, Anderson was president and CEO of from 2011 until 2014, and the divisional SVP of the Northern Plains division of Walmart Inc. from 2010 to 2011. Anderson’s tenure at the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer overlapped with that of Sinclair, who was EVP of grocery from 2007 to 2015. 

Previously, Anderson was president of the retail and direct business units for tabletop and giftware company Lenox Group Inc. and held various executive roles at Toys “R” Us Inc. over a 14-year period.

Additionally, Steve Townsend, onetime president and chief executive of United Natural Foods, and currently principal of his own consulting firm, has stepped down from the Sprouts board, according to the grocer. 

Last month, Sinclair, who became president and CEO of Sprouts in June, noted on the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call the retailer’s plans to ramp up growth in the coming year by overhauling its brand strategy, modifying its store footprint, and rebalancing investments in pricing and promotions. Sinclair likely believes that tapping a fellow Walmart alum will help him achieve these goals.

With an aim of making healthy living accessible to shoppers by offering affordable, fresh, natural and organic products, Sprouts has pioneered a unique grocery model with a store layout featuring fresh produce at the center of the store, an expansive bulk food section, and a vitamin department focused on overall wellness. 

One the fastest-growing retailers in the country, Sprouts employs more than 30,000 associates and operates about 340 stores in 22 states. The company is No. 22 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. Walmart is No. 1 on the list.

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