Joe Fresh President, Mario Grauso, transfers to lead Holt Renfrew

Galen G. Weston: Joe Fresh "in the right place" after business re-set

BRAMPTON, ON, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX:L) today announced that, effective September, Mario Grauso, president of its Joe Fresh division, will transition to lead Holt Renfrew, and Co., Limited, where he has been appointed president. Grauso leaves Joe Fresh following a three-year tenure, including two years as president, during which the company's operations, network and products were significantly and successfully re-set.

Under Grauso's leadership, Joe Fresh repositioned its international growth strategy, launched e-commerce, added footwear and beauty lines, revamped its branding and streamlined its apparel assortment with the promise of essential style and exceptional value for families. The original and core Joe Fresh business – family apparel sold in Canadian grocery stores – is achieving industry-leading sales growth and remains Canada's second-largest apparel brand.

"After a two-year transformation, improving almost every aspect of the business, Mario and the team have Joe Fresh in the right place," said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman and President, Loblaw Companies Limited. "The business has an exciting future based on the new standards we've set for superb style, strong branding, better product, and industry-leading financial performance."

"Joe Fresh has always held a unique place in the competitive landscape and in the eye of consumers," said Grauso. "We've reinforced those strengths by enhancing and editing our store presence and product lines in a way that simply makes better sense for our customers. By giving families essential style at exceptional value, Joe Fresh is more relevant than ever." 

Over more than 20 years in fashion, Grauso has been president of Vera Wang, and an executive of Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and other global fashion brands. He will remain with Joe Fresh until September, with a successor to be named before his departure. Grauso replaces Holt Renfrew's outgoing president, Mark Derbyshire. Loblaw and Joe Fresh are assured of Grauso's orderly departure and succession as Holt Renfrew is a sister company, under the ownership of the Weston family.

About Joe Fresh 

Essential Style. Exceptional Value. Founded in 2006, Joe Fresh offers accessible, modern design in lifestyle collections for women, men and children. Today one of Canada's leading fashion retailers, Joe Fresh brings a contemporary point of view to everyday wardrobe favourites full of colour, polish and thoughtful details. In categories spanning apparel, accessories, footwear and beauty, Joe Fresh provides quality and style for the entire family. In Canada, Joe Fresh products are available online and in more than 350 retail locations, including 12 freestanding stores. Since 2014, Joe Fresh has opened stores in the Middle East, Mexico and the Philippines with local partners, and grown its U.S. e-commerce business.  

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

Image with caption: "Joe Fresh President, Mario Grauso, transfers to lead Holt Renfrew (CNW Group/Loblaw Companies Limited)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160721_C4004_PHOTO_EN_739041.jpg

For further information: pr@loblaw.ca

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