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Smart & Final Names Hong Chief Marketing Officer

Smart & Final E. Hong

Smart & Final, the warehouse grocery store that counts households, businesses and community groups among its customers, has appointed Eleanor Hong SVP and chief marketing officer (CMO). Reporting to Dave Hirz, president and CEO, Hong will develop and oversee strategic marketing programs at Smart & Final designed to enhance the brand and build sales in both existing and new markets.

“Smart & Final has been one of the fastest growing companies in our industry in recent years, and we are well positioned for further growth and success. Eleanor’s amazing skill set—combining marketing analytics, customer loyalty and brand development—is ideally suited to drive stronger customer connections and take our growth to the next level,” Hirz says. “Smart & Final has a great story to tell, and Eleanor is uniquely qualified to help us craft and spread that message, especially to potential customers who have never set foot in our stores.

“By year-end 2014, our larger Smart & Final Extra! format will account for nearly half of our stores,” he adds. “Clearly the growth vehicle for the future, our product offering at Smart & Final Extra! is unlike any other retailer, combining the high quality fresh produce of a farmer’s market, the low prices of a discount grocer and the large club size products of a club store. And, in addition, we have everything that small businesses, clubs and organizations need on a daily basis—all with no club card or membership fees. The question is how do we drive initial trial and build customer loyalty? Eleanor is going to lead that process.”

Hong brings a rich background in consumer and retail marketing to her new role at Smart & Final. She most recently served as SVP of marketing at Kohl’s. She previously was VP of marketing for Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us and served in leadership roles for various Time Inc. publications, including VP of consumer marketing at Sunset Magazine.

Hong earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


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