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Report: Retail Veteran Cate Hardy To Become CEO Of The Wine Group

May 26, 2020

The Wine Group is set to come under new leadership, according to a report in the Seattle Times. The paper reports that veteran retail executive Cate Hardy is leaving Puget Sound-based PCC Community Markets effective in July to become CEO of The Wine Group. Brian Vos has served as The Wine Group’s chief executive since 2012.

Hardy has been CEO of PCC Community Markets, a $310 million, 13-unit organic and natural foods retailer, since 2015. Prior to that she spent nine years with Starbucks, including time as vice president for global commercialization, customer service, and global store development, as well as director positions in store development and strategy. Hardy has also served on The Wine Group’s board since 2016.

According to Impact Databank, The Wine Group is the third-largest winemaker globally after E.&J. Gallo and France’s Castel Freres at 50.3 million 9-liter cases on a 3.9% decline in 2019. Its Franzia brand, the largest wine label worldwide, accounts for about half of total volume and was down 2% last year.

However, the portfolio also includes Impact “Hot Brands” like Chloe and Yosemite Road, which grew 13.5% to 420,000 cases and 13.6% to 375,000 cases in the U.S. last year, respectively. The Wine Group has also made some bolt-on acquisitions in recent years, including Benziger, Beso del Sol, and 7 Deadly Zins. Other key labels in the portfolio include Cupcake, Ava Grace, Imagery, McManis, and Trapiche. SND has reached out to The Wine Group to confirm Hardy’s appointment.

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