SpartanNash names two new directors
Executives with supply chain, marketing and CPG experience are new additions to the SpartanNash board of directors.
Matthew Mannelly and Gregg Tanner have been appointed as new independent members to the SpartanNash board of directors, the food wholesaler and operators of 143 supermarkets announced.
Matthew Mannelly is the retired President, CEO and board member of Prestige Brands. He left Prestige in 2015 and has experience in the consumer products, packaged goods, sports and fitness and apparel industries.
Gregg Tanner is the retired CEO of Dean Foods and serves as a member of the board of directors of SunOpta, Inc. and The Boston Beer Company, Inc. He has extensive experience in the food industry and in leading business organizations.
"Our Board is pleased to add two new members who will contribute a wealth of experience, retail and wholesale expertise, independent perspectives and excellent judgment," said Dennis Eidson, Chairman of the Board of SpartanNash. "Among many other attributes, Gregg brings expertise in supply chain management, and Matthew has extensive experience in marketing and consumer products.”
SpartanNash also announced that directors Mickey Foret and Timothy O’Donovan will conclude their service following the company’s annual meeting on May 23, 2018. Foret has served as a director of SpartanNash since its merger with Nash-Finch Company in 2013, and previously served as a director of Nash-Finch since 2005. O’Donovan has served as a member of the board of directors since 2003, and currently serves as the Lead Independent Director.
The changes comes as SpartanNash looks to make progress toward key strategic initiatives amid recent retail weakness that is proving to be a drag on the wholesale and military segments of the company’s business. Same store sales in the company's retail segment decreased 3.2% in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, the retailer's third consecutive decline in comps. Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter increased $96 million, or 5.3%, to $1.92 billion from $1.83 billion in the prior year quarter. The increase in net sales was driven by sales growth in the food distribution segment, primarily due to contributions from the Caito Foods Service (“Caito”) acquisition.
"Our fourth quarter capped a year of continued progress against our key strategic initiatives," David Staples, President and CEO said at the time. "Our strong sales growth in food distribution demonstrates our ability to both expand our relationships with existing independent customers and drive new business. We achieved sales growth in our military segment in the second half of the year, consistent with our expectations, and experienced a strong sequential quarterly improvement as we continue to partner with DeCA (Defense Commissary Agency) on its key initiatives.”
During the fourth quarter, we remodeled several retail locations under our refreshed Family Fare brand positioning, which provides customers with a more experiential and unique shopping experience. We continue to pilot and test numerous innovative concepts and incorporate these learnings into our retail operations and distribution customer offerings. We are confident that these strategies and investments will serve to strengthen our competitive positioning in 2018."
Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $254.8 million, or 13.2% of net sales, compared to $259.3 million, or 14.2% of net sales, in the prior year quarter.
Net sales for the food distribution segment increased $111.6 million, or 13.3%, to $950.2 million from $838.6 million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to contributions from the Caito acquisition and organic sales growth from existing customers.
Net sales for the military segment increased $13.6 million, or 2.7%, to $524.0 million from $510.4 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was primarily due to new commissary business in the Southwest and incremental volume from the private brand program, partially offset by lower comparable sales at DeCA operated locations.
During the fourth quarter, as part of its store rationalization plan, the company closed one retail store and sold another to an existing food distribution customer, ending the quarter with 145 corporate owned retail stores compared to 157 stores in the prior year quarter. Early in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the company closed two retail stores in connection with its store rationalization plan.
For the first half of fiscal 2018, the company expects adjusted earnings per share to be flat to modestly below the prior year, driven primarily by sequential improvements in Caito operations and cycling certain vendor programs.