Giant snags former Wal-Mart executive Anthony Hucker

September 13, 2011

Former Wal-Mart executive Anthony Hucker is taking the helm as president of Giant Food’s Landover division next month, according to the grocery chain’s parent company, Ahold USA.

Hucker replaces Don Sussman, who has served in the interim since Robin Michel stepped down at the end of 2010. Sussman will resume his role as executive vice president of supply chain for Ahold USA.

In his new position, Hucker will oversee sales, operating profits and the management of the 173 supermarkets, with 22,000 employees, in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District.

Hucker brings more than 25 years of retail experience, with more than 10 years at German grocer Aldi and nearly seven years at behemoth Wal-Mart. He most recently worked as corporate vice president and head of Wal-Mart’s express division. That smaller urban format, with its expanded offering of food, now competes with CVS, Walgreens and, to some extent, Giant.

Traditional supermarkets, like Giant and Safeway, are feeling the pressure from Wal-Mart and Target, which have grown their grocery sections in recent years. At the same time, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter have been carving out their own territories in the Washington area, with a string of new store openings.

Just last week, Whole Foods opened its 16th store in the Washington area in Foggy Bottom, while Harris Teeter announced plans in the summer to add two more stores to its 27 in the area.

Giant commands 35.8 percent of the local market share, according to Food World, an industry trade publication based in Columbia. The supermarket chain has been renovating some of its older stores and has plans underway for a few new sites, including one at Third and H streets in the District.

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