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Sobeys hires Sandra Sanderson for marketing role

Former Walmart Canada executive joins the grocery store chain as senior vice-president of marketing

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Sobeys has put one of Canada’s most accomplished retail marketers in charge of its brand.

Sandra Sanderson is the new senior vice-president of marketing.

Most recently, Sanderson was vice-president of marketing for Florida-based women’s fashion retailer White House Black Market, overseeing all marketing for the 400-store boutique since early 2017. Before that she was chief marketing and quality officer at Walmart Canada, playing a lead role on the retailer’s fresh food re-launch.

Sanderson’s career story is one of steady progression through senior ranks of mainly consumer goods and retail brands. She started her professional life with P&G in the late ’80s, moving to Kraft, Coca-Cola, Canada Post and Danier Leather.

Before joining Walmart, Sanderson spent more than five years with Shoppers Drug Mart, overseeing the rapid growth of the Optimum loyalty program and the integration of traditional and digital marketing platforms.

An active member of the marketing community, Sanderson was also named one of Canadian Grocer’s Star Women in 2015.

“[The CPG companies] I’ve worked with were all customer-centric,” she told Grocer at the time. That experience was instrumental in shaping her approach to retail marketing, which puts understanding customer needs at the heart of every decision, she said.

Sobeys has been undergoing significant changes across all parts of its business since Michael Medline took over as CEO. Late last year, he said improved branding would be a result of a better understanding of its customers. “We have completed our brand customer research, analyzed the results and are in the process of putting together a coherent customer strategy that will effect most aspects of our business,” he said.

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