Wholesalers & Distributors

SpartanNash promotes chief merchant Bennett Morgan to EVP

Grocery industry veteran is currently playing a key role in the distributor/retailer’s merchandising transformation.
SpartanNash-trailer-distribution center_Shutterstock
Morgan has been SpartanNash's chief merchandising officer since joining the company early last year from retail giant Amazon. / Photo: Shutterstock

SpartanNash chief merchant Bennett Morgan has moved another step up the corporate ladder.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash said Wednesday that Morgan has been promoted to executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. He has held the chief merchant’s post since joining the grocery distributor/retailer in late January 2022 as senior vice president.

As the top merchandising officer, Morgan leads fresh, center store and pharmacy merchandising at SpartanNash, as well as category management, pricing, promotions and master data management.

Morgan came to SpartanNash from retail giant Amazon, where he served as Amazon Fresh store category leader for center-store food, beverages, alcohol and nonfoods for 21 months. In joining SpartanNash, he filled part of the role vacated in the summer of 2021 by former chief merchandising and marketing officer Lori Raya, who joined The Kroger Co. as Mid-Atlantic division president. Just before announcing Morgan’s hiring, SpartanNash promoted Amy McClellan, vice president of fresh merchandising for retail, to senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Bennett’s leadership has advanced our capabilities in merchandising and accelerated the benefits we are realizing from our transformation work,” SpartanNash CEO Tony Sarsam said in a statement. “Merchandising continues to play a critical role in our store guest experience, and we are leveraging those insights to help our independent grocery customers grow their businesses.”

Bennett Morgan-SpartanNash chief merchant

Bennett Morgan, EVP and chief merchandising officer at SpartanNash. / Photo courtesy of SpartanNash

At Amazon, Morgan helped launch the company’s retail grocery business, including the opening of Amazon Fresh stores across the country. He joined Amazon in May 2020 as Amazon Fresh category leader, overseeing produce and protein products after having managed center-store products.

Previously, Morgan spent more than three years at Walmart, most recently serving as vice president of merchandising for Walmart China and Japan. Prior to that, he served as vice president of cost analytics for Walmart Asia. Morgan came to Walmart in March 2017 after over five-and-a-half years at H-E-B, most recently as senior director, leading store operations, supply chain manufacturing and merchandising. He joined H-E-B after more than three years at the Boston Consulting Group and five years at Citibank.

SpartanNash noted that Morgan’s elevation to executive vice president follows the appointments of Arpen Shah to vice president of merchandising strategy and analytics, a newly created position, in April and Brandon Pasch to vice president of center store merchandising in June. The company said the moves reflect organizational investments in its merchandising transformation, aimed at unearthing insights to sharpen category planning and promotional efficacy and create a “more compelling” customer offer. Most recently, Sarsam said SpartanNash has launched a revamped go-to-market strategy to become more customer-focused.

SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states through its core food wholesaling business, supplying over 2,100 independent grocers nationwide plus 144 corporate-owned and -operated supermarkets—primarily under the Family Fare, Martin’s and D&W banners—in nine Midwestern states. The company also distributes to 160 military commissaries and more than 400 exchanges in the United States and internationally.



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