Circle The Wagons has appointed Brian Shillinglaw as chief operating officer, signaling a move to amplify brand offerings and operational efficiency.
A solutions-based company for independent grocers, Circle The Wagons is evolving into a comprehensive organization, addressing all facets of grocery operations. Founded on a group purchasing organization model, it helps independents enhance sales, lower expenses and generate new revenue streams while reducing losses.
With a 23-year career in the supermarket and retail industry, Shillinglaw’s experience includes a leadership role at Target, where he played a key role in enhancing brand standards and operational excellence in the Southeast and New England regions.
“We are so excited about Brian joining our company as we enter into a new chapter of growth with our trusted independent retail partners,” said CEO Barton Howard of Circle The Wagons.
“We have looked for some time at the possibilities of this role needing an entrepreneurial spirit coupled with operations, merchandising and talent management background. Brian is someone that has that background and much more. With his business, corporate and independent background, he will make us even more successful helping us fulfill our purpose with our independent grocers.”
Based at Circle The Wagons’ Houma, Louisiana, office, Shillinglaw is tasked with steering the company’s accelerated growth while refining operational strategies.
“While I was very thankful for my Target career and what we accomplished, I needed more fulfillment than a W-2 could provide,” Shillinglaw said. “So starting my own business was important for me to find myself. While doing that, the love for grocery still existed in my soul. I reconnected with Barton and found a purpose that I could not only support but have a passion for doing.”
Howard emphasized Shillinglaw’s innovative yet practical approach.
“Brian will help guide us in solutions that meet the independent grocers where they are and where the business is going,” he said. “He’s innovative but practical in approach, which speaks to our independent customers.”
Shillinglaw noted that CTW has “an innovative offering” to help independent grocers increase sales, traffic and bottom line.
“I’ve learned a ton about the team, board and founders in the last few months,” he said. “To say I’m working with rock stars would be an understatement. I’m very fortunate that I’m a part of this journey we are on and humbled to work with such an amazing team.”
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