The Fresh Market appoints new chief merchandising officer

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The Fresh Market appoints new chief merchandising officer

Rich Durante will oversee all of the company's buying activities, including the sourcing for private brand signature offerings.

Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery retailer with a robust private brands program that has 176 stores in 24 states, has appointed Rich Durante to the position of chief merchandising officer. Durante will be responsible for overseeing all of The Fresh Market’s buying activities and developing strategic purchasing plans to further implement best-in-class merchandising, product innovation and product quality throughout all stores.

Since April 2017, Durante held the position of executive vice president of Midwest and Southeast merchandising for The Fresh Market and was responsible for the merchandising departments and private brand programs within these regions.

“One of my main priorities as chief merchandising officer is to create programs and initiatives that will further position The Fresh Market as an industry leader in freshness and quality,” said Durante in a statement. “I look forward to expanding The Fresh Market’s signature and specialty categories, as well as driving market innovation through our meal solutions.”

Durante has an extensive background in food retailing, spanning more than 39 years, in a range of gourmet and contemporary markets. Prior to joining The Fresh Market, Durante was president and chief operating officer of AG Supermarket Holdings, which operates Kings Food Markets, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, and Balducci’s On the Go Café. Additionally, Durante’s previous experience includes roles of increasing responsibility at Kings Super Markets, where he successfully led merchandising, operations, marketing and engineering teams.

“Rich is an experienced food retailer and his expertise in merchandising and operations is a great asset to our team” said Larry Appel, president and CEO of The Fresh Market. “Love of food is at the heart of The Fresh Market, and I’m confident that under Rich’s leadership, we will further enhance our product offering and continue to deliver unique, quality items to our guests.”

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