Former Winn-Dixie executive Larry Appel has joined The Fresh Market as its president and CEO. In conjunction with the appointment, Brian Nicholson, who was serving as the retailer’s interim CEO, will remain in his role as CFO.
With nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy, Appel – who will also serve on The Fresh Market’s board of directors – held a variety of senior leadership roles with Winn-Dixie Stores from 2002 to 2012, including COO, chief human resources officer, head of strategy and chief legal officer. After leaving Winn-Dixie, Appel joined Skeeter Snacks as CEO and previously served as SVP of legal at The Home Depot from 1997 to 2002.
“Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the board believes that Larry is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward,” said Andrew Jhawar, senior partner at Apollo Global Management and chairman of The Fresh Market’s board. “We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to ‘win’ with our customers. We are grateful to Brian Nicholson for his efforts in improving operations during this transition period, and we value his work in the critical role of CFO as we implement our strategy under Larry’s new leadership.”
For his part, Appel said he is “committed to reenergizing all that sets The Fresh Market apart as a great brand and retail store. Its heritage and history provide a strong platform in continuing to define the company as a unique ‘specialty’ grocer, offering best-in-class products and customer service. I plan to work with our teams to further elevate every aspect of our business – all with a sharp focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every day in every store.”
Based in Greensboro, N.C., The Fresh Market is a specialty grocer operating 176 stores in 24 states.