Dollar Tree, which officially closed its purchase of Matthews-based Family Dollar this month, has named Michael Witynski as its new chief operating officer.
The appointment is part of the Virginia-based company’s “ongoing integration” following the Family Dollar acquisition, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Sasser said in a statement Thursday.
Witynski, 52, will be responsible for store operations and real estate of Dollar Tree-bannered stores in the U.S., as well as for all retail operations and real estate in Canada, according to the company statement.
Witynski replaces Gary Philbin, who assumed the role of president and COO of Family Dollar when the merger closed July 6. Witynski, who will report to Sasser, has served as the company’s senior vice president of stores since 2000 and before that spent nearly three decades in the grocery store industry.
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In the statement, Sasser called Witynski an “accomplished retailer” and a “key leader in Dollar Tree’s continued growth and operating performance.”
In May, Sasser outlined some of the initial steps the combined Dollar Tree will take to become more efficient, including converting some Family Dollar locations into Dollar Tree stores.
Sasser called re-bannering “probably the biggest opportunity” the company has, and a way to “put the right store in front of the right customer.”
Dollar Tree, which sells everything for $1 or less, tends to perform better in more suburban markets, while Family Dollar, which sells a variety of products including national brands for about $10 or less, does better in rural and urban markets with low-income shoppers.
Sasser said Dollar Tree will re-banner a number of small test stores to verify its analysis is correct, then will modify the process if necessary. All of the initial re-banners, Sasser said, will be Family Dollars to Dollar Trees.
The combined company will have sales of over $19 billion a year and will operate more than 13,600 stores, making it the largest dollar-store chain in the U.S. by store count.