Sam's Club exec heads to Family Dollar

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Former Sam’s Club executive Jason Reiser is heading to Family Dollar to be the company's SVP of merchandising. He replaces John Scanlon, who left the company at the end of March.

Family Dollar announced the key changes to its merchandising organization on the heels of better-than-expected third quarter results for fiscal 2013 ended June 1. 

“In our ongoing efforts to better meet the needs of our core customer and growing trade-in customer, we are excited to welcome Jason to the team,” said Bloom. “Jason brings more than 17 years of experience in discount retail, and I am confident that his experience and familiarity with our customers will be an enormous asset to our leadership team.”

The company also announced that Paul White, EVP and CMO, has left to pursue other interests. While the company completes a search for White’s replacement, president and COO Michael K. Bloom will assume executive responsibility for merchandising. 

“Paul has been a valued part of our team,” said Bloom. “His contributions to Family Dollar are greatly appreciated, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Reiser will have executive responsibility for the company’s health, beauty, personal care and household teams. He spent 17 years at Sam’s Club, where he had a variety of roles, most recently serving as VP of merchandising, health and family care. Reiser has a bachelor of science degree from Northeastern University. 

The company had a strong third quarter with net sales of $2.57 billion, an increase of 9% from $2.3 billion for the same quarter last year. Comparable store sales in the quarter increased 2.9%, as a result of an increase in the average customer transaction value and higher customer traffic. Sales were strongest in the value retailer’s consumables category, which increased 14.8% during the quarter, driven primarily by strong growth in food, health and beauty aids and tobacco. 

However, the challenging economy is still affecting the choices shoppers make, and Family Dollar recognizes that consumers are spending on products they need but not so much on products they want. Although discretionary sales did not see the same strong results consumables did, it was not enough to offset Family Dollar’s third quarter results, which were actually at the upper end of its guidance. 

“Our consumables sales remained strong and we continued to gain market share. However, our discretionary sales remained challenged as our customers have been forced to make spending choices between basic needs and wants,” said chairman and CEO Howard Levine. “Consistent with market trends, we expect that our customers will continue to face financial headwinds. We are adapting accordingly, and we are focused on stabilizing gross margin, controlling expenses, improving inventory productivity and driving greater operational efficiencies. I am confident that we remain well positioned for long-term profitable growth.” 

The company’s gross profit for the quarter increased 5.6% to $892.5 million, or 34.7% of net sales, compared to $845.3 million, or 35.8% of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Net income for the quarter was $121 million compared to net income of $125 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012. 

During the quarter, the company opened 129 new stores, closed 3 stores and renovated, relocated or expanded 228 stores.