Dollar Tree Taps Former Dollar General Execs for Supply Chain and Merchandising Roles

John Flanigan appointed chief supply chain officer and Larry Gatta named chief merchandising officer for Family Dollar
Dollar Tree
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Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree Inc. has announced two new executive appointments to improve the discounters supply chain and operations. John Flanigan, who most recently served as EVP of global supply chain for discount rival Dollar General, has been appointed to the position of chief supply chain officer, and Larry Gatta, who recently served as SVP and general merchandise manager for consumables at Dollar General, was named chief merchandising officer for the Family Dollar banner.

“Driving supply-chain efficiencies and improving the operating performance of our Family Dollar banner are important elements to long-term value creation for our shareholders,” Dollar Tree President and CEO Michael Witynski said in a May 12 statement. “I am pleased to announce the recent additions of proven retail leaders John Flanigan and Larry Gatta to our organization.”

The discounter said Rick McNeely, chief merchandising officer of the Dollar Tree banner, will oversee Dollar Tree merchandising teams and will focus on driving key Dollar Tree initiatives.

“Both John and Larry have decades of experience and are proven leaders in small-box value retail, and I am extremely pleased to welcome them to our team,” Witynski said. “In their leadership roles, they will each be key components to our success in the next chapter of our company’s growth, especially as it relates to improved performance, efficiencies, and shopper and associate experiences, in our Family Dollar stores and throughout our supply chain.”

Flanigan brings close to 30 years of management experience in retail logistics to the new position. Prior to joining Dollar General, he was group VP of logistics and distribution for Longs Drug Stores Corp. In that role, he oversaw warehousing, inbound and outbound transportation, and facility maintenance to service over 500 retail outlets.

From September 2001 to October 2005, Flanigan served as the VP of logistics for Safeway, where he led distribution of food products from Safeway distribution centers to all retail outlets, inbound traffic, and transportation. Flanigan has held distribution and logistics leadership positions at Vons, Specialized Distribution Management Inc., and Crum & Crum Logistics.

“I am excited to join the Dollar Tree organization,” said Flanigan in a statement. “Mike Witynski and I share a common vision to improve the organization’s supply chain performance through improved distribution center conditions, hiring and retention of teams, and efficiency improvements throughout the supply chain - from our suppliers to our store shelves,” said Flanigan.

Flanigan said his focus will be on leading productivity improvements across the logistics function through use of data, analytics, process improvements and automation. “I am eager to drive our team’s contribution to the company’s performance through improved shopper and associate experience,” Flanigan said.

Gatta brings more than 35 years of retail industry and marketing experience to his new position where he had prior responsibility for food, perishables, candy, snacks, beverage, paper, cleaning, pet, and tobacco categories.

In 2009 he joined Dollar General as VP and divisional merchandise manager, responsible for food, pet, beverages, candy, snacks, perishables, and the Market Store Format.  

Prior to joining Dollar General, he was senior VP and chief marketing officer at Longs Drug Stores until that business was acquired by CVS. He previously held leadership roles at Rite Aid Corp. and Phar-Mor Corp.

"In the current economic climate, households need Family Dollar to provide value and convenience to help stretch their budgets," Gatta said in a statement, adding that he believes Family Dollar is "part of the solution to millions of households across the U.S."

Gatta said in his new position he will home in on improving the banner’s productivity and improved operating performance through sales-driving initiatives, margin enhancements, and leveraging the discounter’s cost components.

“The investments in renovations and the new combo-store formats are a tremendous foundation to grow and improve the Family Dollar business,” Gatta said.

Dollar Tree, which has stores in 48 states under the brands of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, will host its first-quarter earnings call on May 26. 


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