Inside This Issue - News
Duane Reade CEO joining U.S. Foodservice
August 30th, 2010
NEW YORK – John Lederer, who oversaw the reinvention of Duane Reade that set the stage for its purchase by Walgreen Co., is moving to U.S. Foodservice as president and chief executive officer.
As chairman and chief executive officer of Duane Reade since April 2008, Lederer led an overhaul of drab stores where low service expectations predominated. The chain’s newest stores have a fashionable decor and the upscale Look Boutique prestige beauty department. Colors and signage dramatically set off health, beauty and convenience sections.
Duane Reade strived to build “the best urban drug store” in the country, Lederer said earlier this year. “With the power and strength and breadth of Walgreens behind it,” Duane Reade is well on its way, he remarked.
Lederer, a former president of Toronto-based supermarket chain Loblaw Cos., said that when he arrived at Duane Reade his first priority was to probe how New Yorkers felt about the chain and what they wanted from their drug stores.
“Anything we did since then was informed by New Yorkers and put in place to make their lives easier,” he commented.
The upshot was a remodeling initiative that, besides modernizing decor, gave stores wider aisles, uncluttered windows and lots of light as well as pharmacy improvements and physician-staffed walk-in clinics.
One result of the effort is the chain’s new flagship unit off Manhattan’s Union Square, which features an extensive assortment of food and an expanded Look Boutique. “In each of the stores that opens one sees a different extension of this notion of making New Yorkers’ lives easier,” Lederer noted. “Each store becomes a little stronger.”
Edward Liddy, chairman of U.S. Foodservice, where Lederer starts September 8, says, “John is an incredibly accomplished executive whose personal integrity and leadership style are a great fit for the culture at U.S. Foodservice. John also has tremendous depth in enhancing the customer value proposition and improving the customer experience.”
Lederer was president of Loblaws, Canada’s No. 1 supermarketer with more than 1,000 stores, from 2001 to 2006. Under his leadership Loblaws’ annual sales grew from $20 billion (Canadian) in 2000 to over $28 billion in 2006.
Over 30 years at Loblaws and its subsidiaries, Lederer held a number of senior positions. Immediately prior to his appointment as president, he served as executive vice president responsible for the merchandising, operations and profit performance of all Loblaws businesses in eastern Canada.