Wholesalers & Distributors

SpartanNash taps Giant Eagle’s Brandon Pasch to oversee center store merchandising

Retail veteran brings key leadership to merchandising transformation under company’s strategic growth plan.
SpartanNash-Family Fare-store interior
SpartanNash's merchandising transformation aims to fill store shelves with "the right products at the right place at the right price," CEO Tony Sarsam said.

Brandon Pasch has joined SpartanNash as vice president of center store merchandising and will help drive the grocery distributor/retailer’s ongoing merchandising transformation.

Pasch starts in the new role effective immediately, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash said Monday. Previously, he spent two years at regional grocer Giant Eagle, serving as VP of grocery merchandising and then as VP of center store merchandising. The Pittsburgh-based chain operates more than 400 supermarkets and convenience/fuel stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana.

Before his tenure at Giant Eagle, Pasch held a range of roles in nearly nine years at supercenter chain Meijer, most recently as head of procurement for food/drug/pets/consumables sourcing, quality assurance and compliance. Prior to that, he spent over six years at mass retailer Target, most recently serving as senior grocery buyer. His career also includes more than a year as a financial analyst for manufacturing at Ford Motor Co.

“Brandon is a skilled leader in merchandising, with extensive experience across many categories within the retail and grocery industry,” Bennett Morgan, senior VP and chief merchandising officer at SpartanNash, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have his unique perspective and unyielding work ethic to help improve the in-store guest experience at our retail locations and for our independent wholesale customers.”

Brandon Pasch-SpartanNash

Brandon Pasch, VP of center store merchandising at SpartanNash. / Photo courtesy of SpartanNash

SpartanNash noted that Pasch, with 17 years of retail merchandising experience, comes to the company following the April addition of Arpen Shah as VP of merchandising strategy and analytics. Both executives are expected to provide key leadership during SpartanNash’s merchandising transformation, which President and CEO Tony Sarsam said last week is moving into its next phase. The strategic initiative, launched last year, is aimed at better leveraging market and operational insights to sharpen category planning, promotional efficacy and customer-centric innovation.

“The merchandising transformation is providing a strong foundation for years of growth through enhanced customer-led capabilities. The focus of the program involves filling as many shelves as possible with the right products at the right place at the right price. We started realizing the benefits from the merchandising transformation this past quarter, and we’re gaining momentum,” Sarsam told analysts on Thursday in a conference call on fiscal 2023 first-quarter results. (Call transcript provided by AlphaSense.)

The total program also brought “significant additional benefits” to SpartanNash’s wholesale and retail customers in Q1, and the effort is expected to help corporate-run stores and independent grocers attract new shoppers, he added.

“We are now entering the next generation of the merchandising transformation. This includes the launch of, one, the next phase of enhanced category planning and, two, our assortment and compelling offering program,” Sarsam said in the call. “In fiscal 2023, the gross benefit that the company expects to realize from the merchandising transformation are $25 million to $35 million, consistent with our long-term plan.”

SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states through its core food wholesaling business, supplying over 2,100 independent grocery retailers nationwide plus 144 corporate-owned supermarkets—mainly under the Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets and D&W Fresh Market banners—in nine Midwestern states, which make up its retail business unit. The company also distributes to 160 military commissaries and over 400 exchanges in the United States and internationally.



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