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Meijer fills top ranks

GRAND RAPIDS , Mich. Midwest regional retailer Meijer, which operates 163 stores in five states, has appointed new top executives in merchandising — five promotions and one newcomer to the company.

Terry Griffith, formerly divisional vice president of hardlines, has been promoted to divisional vice president of merchandising. During his 35-year career with Meijer, Griffith helped develop the foods division.

Rob Gruen, currently group vice president of softlines, has added related responsibilities, becoming group vice president of softlines/home. Since joining the company in June 2004, he has led improving results in the softlines division. Prior to Meijer, Gruen was president and CEO of Saks Inc.'s Parisian division.

Tim Lesneski, formerly vice president of health and beauty care/pharmacy, has been promoted to group vice president of hardlines and drug stores. A registered pharmacist, Lesneski has led the store's health and beauty care/pharmacy business for the past 19 years. In addition to his new responsibilities, he is also assigned to provide leadership over traditional hardlines and, together with Gruen, oversee Meijer's general merchandise division.

Rob Atteberry, formerly vice president of merchandising, has been promoted to vice president of hardlines. He is responsible for the merchandising growth within hardlines. Prior to joining Meijer in the fall of 2004, he was vice president and general merchandise manager of home and home electronics at Kmart.

Nat Love, formerly director of merchandise planning and category management, has been promoted to vice president of the drug store. Reporting to Lesneski, Love is responsible for pricing, promotion and category management. He is a registered pharmacist.

And Ruth McCarthy, formerly vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Babies "R" Us, joins Meijer as vice president of home. She brings more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry, having also worked for Sam's Club and Costco.

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