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Harris Teeter Taps Spilman As First Lead Director

Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. has designated Robert Spilman Jr. as its lead independent director, a first for the Matthews, N.C.-based grocery chain.

The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Harris Teeter’s board approved an amendment to the company’s bylaws at its regularly scheduled board meeting last week, allowing a lead director to be named.

Spilman has been a director with the company since August 2002 and will continue to serve as chairman of the board’s corporate governance and nominating committee, according to a company news release. As lead independent director, he also will preside at the executive sessions of non-management and independent directors, serve as the principal liaison between the chairman of the board and the independent directors, and consult with the chairman regarding information to be sent to the board, meeting agendas and establishing meeting schedules.

Harris Teeter recently reported net income of $15.8 million, or 32 cents per diluted share for its third fiscal quarter ended July 1, down from $32.1 million, or 66 cents per share, in the corresponding period of 2011. Sales totaled $1.2 billion in the latest quarter, up slightly from $1.1 billion a year earlier.

In June, the company announced a purchase and sale agreement with Winston-Salem-based Lowes Food Stores Inc. through which Harris Teeter acquired 10 Lowes Foods store locations in the central Carolinas region, and Lowes Foods acquired six Harris Teeter store locations in western North Carolina.

The Journal reports that the stores acquired by Harris Teeter were closed for remodeling, stocking and training of employees. Six of those are expected to reopen during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Three will be converted to a new format that features a worldwide variety of wine, beer, specialty foods and other selected merchandise, and one is expected to be subleased.

Harris Teeter operates 201 stores in eight states.


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