New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of Nick Konat as the new president and chief operating officer of Sprouts Farmers Market in Phoenix, AZ. Firm president Brenda Malloy and managing director Christine Augustine led the search. “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Nick to the Sprouts executive leadership team,” said Jack Sinclair, CEO. “Nick’s deep-rooted merchandising and product innovation experience with preeminent retail brands will help to propel our company forward as we continue to execute on our strategic plan.”
Mr. Konat most recently served as chief merchandising officer at Petco Health and Wellness Co., a leading brand in the U.S. pet care industry. He joined Petco in 2015. Prior to his appointment as chief merchandising officer of the company in 2018, he served as vice president of private brands and merchandising and senior vice president – general manager. Before he joined Petco, Mr. Konat served as director of food merchandise planning at Target Corp. He also spent six years with Accenture, a multinational professional services company.
At Sprouts, Mr. Konat will oversee the operations, marketing, merchandising and innovation functions. “I am honored to join Sprouts and look forward to working with the team as we continue to profitably grow by fulfilling our mission of providing healthy living options for less to more people,” said Mr. Konat. “Sprouts pioneered making healthy food affordable 20 years ago, and I hope to build on this foundation by serving our customers, making lasting positive changes to the company and improving access to fresh, natural and organic foods as we expand across the country.”
Sprouts Farmers Market, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, has made healthy living accessible to shoppers for nearly two decades by offering affordable, fresh, natural and organic products. The company employs more than 30,000 team members and operates about 340 stores in 22 states from coast to coast.
Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion and apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, restaurant and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work.
Ms. Malloy brings over 40 years of experience to Herbert Mines Associates. During her career, she has authored numerous articles on retail CEO succession, omnichannel leadership, in addition to being a featured speaker at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York City. Working with leading retailers at the senior most levels to assemble winning leadership teams, Ms. Malloy primarily recruits board directors, CEOs, and their direct reports for publicly traded, privately held and private equity backed companies spanning vertical specialty, lifestyle and branded retail, off-price/value, grocery, hardlines, mass and the specialty department store sectors.
At Herbert Mines, Ms. Augustine is responsible for placing senior-level executives in a broad range of assignments in the retail and consumer products industries. She brings over 20 years of Wall Street experience, including 10 years of asset management as a portfolio manager at JP Morgan and as an equity analyst focused on investments in the consumer space at Hilltop Park, a global long short hedge fund. Earlier in her career, Ms. Augustine spent 12 years on the sell-side and was an Institutional Investor top ranked equity research analyst following a broad range of retailers during her career including big box discounters, department stores, dollar stores, specialty apparel retailers/branded apparel and footwear companies.
In 2020, Caitlin Kenefick, along with Ms. Malloy and managing director Alison Weil, placed Gil Phipps as the new senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sprouts Farmers Market in Phoenix. With more than 20 years of experience in the grocery industry, Mr. Phipps was recruited to Sprouts from Cincinnati, OH-based Kroger Co., the parent company of Arizona’s Fry’s Food Stores