The Kroger Co. has named Liz Ferneding president of its Ruler Division. She succeeds Paul Bowen, who retired in May.
Ferneding joins Kroger from Aldi, where she had served in a variety of leadership roles for the last 11 years, including an international assignment in Australia. Upon her return to the U.S., Ferneding was promoted to marketing director and then earlier this year, she was promoted to director of corporate buying.
“Liz’s extensive grocery retail experience in procurement, marketing, advertising, management and operations will be an asset to our Ruler associates, customers and community,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO. “We have a lot of respect for the Ruler format and the customer it serves. Liz’s talent and insights will help us sharpen our value-centric, small-format store.”
The Ruler division is headquartered in Seymour, Indiana, with 48 stores operating in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Ruler stores, which average 19,000 s.f., offer low prices and are stocked mostly with Kroger’s Our Brands foods. Ruler will open two new stores later this year.
“I’m excited to join the Ruler team to help further develop the format, grow the brand and enhance customer engagement,” said Ferneding. “I have admired The Kroger Co. both as a consumer and a competitor and have looked to the company throughout my tenure in the industry as a benchmark in grocery retail.”