Under Whitsett’s leadership, Meijer continued its trend of growth and market share gain quarter after quarter. In 2013 and 2015, he was instrumental in hosting a vendor summit in Grand Rapids to establish stronger partnerships with current vendors and attract new vendors not yet working with the retailer. Whitsett also led the launch of a global sourcing office in Hong Kong in 2014 to allow manufacturers to work directly with Meijer sourcing agents, which has lowered cost, improved the quality of products offered and enhanced speed to market–all of which have contributed to a better overall customer experience. Additionally, he helped expand the retailer’s locally grown and Made in Michigan programs to represent an annual economic impact of nearly $100 million.
Whitsett came to Meijer from Dick’s Sporting Goods where he served as the executive vice president of global merchandising and division president of Golf Galaxy. As division president, he was responsible for the Dick’s and Golf Galaxy merchandise both in-store and online, a $5 billion business.
As the executive vice president and general merchandise manager at RadioShack Corporation, Whitsett was responsible for the overall merchandise performance and for the supply chain operations, which included overseas operations, warehousing, transportation and inventory management.
Whitsett held several leadership roles at Sears Holding Company, including the senior vice president and chief merchant for Kmart Retail. He began his retail career in 1987 as the store manager of Lucky Southern California.
Whitsett received his Bachelor of Science degree at California State University in Northridge, California. He currently serves on the Make-A-Wish Michigan Board of Directors.
Panel Moderator: Meg Major, Vice President of Content, Winsight Grocery Business
Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO, KeHE Distributors
Lori Raya, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, SpartanNash
Rekha Rao, General Manager, North America eCommerce, Colgate-Palmolive
Peter Whitsett, Executive Vice President Merchandising and Marketing, Meijer
Psyche Terry, President, CEO and Chief Inspiration Officer, UI Global Brands