Mario Grauso has been promoted to president of Joe Fresh, a new position at the brand, which is owned by Loblaw Cos. Ltd.
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In his new role, Grauso oversees business strategy, operations, marketing, merchandising, international development, sourcing and design functions.
Previously, he was chief operating officer, overseeing the daily operations of the business, as well as new strategic partnerships and international development.
Grauso continues to report to Joe Mimran, president of Joseph Mimran & Associates and creative director of Joe Fresh.
The promotion is part of a company-wide management reorganization at Loblaw. As part of the changes, executive chairman Galen Weston Jr. has assumed the additional role of president of Loblaw, where he is now responsible for execution of the company’s overall strategy and business performance. He takes on the role from Vicente Trius, who is exiting the company to return to his native Brazil.
“Since joining Joe Fresh in September 2013, Mario Grauso has managed the successful growth of Joe Fresh, in partnership with Joe Mimran,” Weston said. “Over the past 10 months, the brand has opened stores in South Korea and Saudi Arabia, with an extensive international rollout plan in place. Joe Fresh continues to solidify its U.S. presence and will launch e-commerce there next month. 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.”
Weston is the son of Canadian billionaire W. Galen Weston. The Weston family has controlling interests in Loblaw Cos. Ltd. parent company George Weston Ltd., and the Selfridges Group, which operates Holt Renfrew in Canada, Brown Thomas in Ireland and Selfridges in the U.K.
Since May, Joe Fresh and its partners have opened stores in Seoul; the Sahara Mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Mall of Dhahran in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. A unit in the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to open later this month. Joe Fresh, with its overseas partners, plans to open more than 140 stores in 23 countries over the next five years.
Prior to joining Joe Fresh, Grauso was president of Vera Wang Group, and president of Puig Fashion, the parent company of Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne.
In North America, Joe Fresh is available online as well as inside Loblaws in Canada and J.C. Penney in the U.S. There are also 16 Joe Fresh stores in Canada, and six freestanding stores in New York.