Joe Fresh appoints new president

Mario Grauso steps up after nearly a year of expanding brand overseas

After less than a year overseeing Joe Fresh’s international expansion as the its chief operating officer, Mario Grauso has been promoted to president of the Loblaw-owned brand.

Mario Grauso

Mario Grauso

Grauso, who continues to report to founder and creative director Joe Mimran, will now oversee “business strategy, operations, marketing, international development, merchandising, sourcing and design functions at Joe Fresh,” according to a release.

“Since joining Joe Fresh in September 2013, Mario Grauso has managed the successful growth of Joe Fresh, in partnership with Joe Mimran,” said Galen Weston, chairman and now president of Loblaw, in a release. “Mario is a proven leader in the fashion industry and I look forward to his continued guidance of Joe Fresh as it expands into a compelling global presence in specialty retail.”

Joe Fresh started opening the doors to its international locations this past spring including shops in Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The retailer and its partners plan to open over 140 stores in 23 countries over the next five years.

Grauso spoke to Marketing in July about the retailer’s expansion into Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and why he thinks the brand is poised for success in international markets.

“I think that the international consumer is very aware of branding… they’re looking for a strong mission statement from companies and I think our modern twist on basics is appealing,” he said. “I think the colour sensibility that Joe has established here is another very strong element internationally. Clearly Joe is not afraid of colour and I think these international markets are responding to that.”

Prior to joining Joe Fresh, Grauso was president of Vera Wang Group. He has also held executive positions at Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein.

The company says the promotion is a result of a company-wide “management reorganization.” As part of that reorganziation, executive chairman Weston was named president of Loblaw last week. He replaces Vicente Trius, who joined the company in 2011.

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