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The Hispanic chain has more than 38 supermarkets in the United States. Photo: Pixabay.

Aurora Grocery Group introduces its new CEO

Julio Ibáñez was announced by this company as its new CEO, a role that he will occupy starting mid-May.

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Aurora Grocery Group, the Hispanic supermarket chain that operates 38 branches with its renowned brands Compare Foods, Gala Foods and Gala Fresh, announced the arrival of a new CEO, who will take the reins of the company beginning May 16.

Julio Ibáñez, recognized as an experienced Hispanic retail executive and consultant with a solid international career spanning more than two decades, becomes the new CEO of this firm after working with Bravo supermarkets in the Dominican Republic, where he took over the roles of supply management, assortment and product development for the last six years.

Ibáñez, who founded the Hispanic Retail Chamber of Commerce in the United States in 2019, told Abasto magazine:

One of my main objectives as CEO will be to grow the family of supermarkets. We want to reach all communities where we know we can offer proximity and exceptional customer service.

Strategic Change in the Company

The Board of Directors of Aurora Grocery Group, formed by members of the three families that own the supermarkets, Peña, Gutiérrez and Jorge, who were in charge of managing the operation of the business, decided to give the company a new strategic direction to strengthen its growth with the arrival of Ibáñez, who upon his possession will be in charge of the daily operations of the company.

“Knowing Julio’s extensive background in the supermarket industry, we decided that he was the right person to continue with this project that we started. This year, we celebrate our tenth anniversary, and we believe it is the perfect time to start this new challenge we have to continue growing. We are all very confident in Julio and the job he intends to do to make Aurora one of the strongest Hispanic supermarket chains in the United States,” said Omar Jorge, chairman of Aurora Group’s board of directors.

Ibanez's Career

Julio Ibáñez, Aurora Grocery Group new CEO.
Julio Ibáñez, Aurora Grocery Group new CEO. Photo: Julio Ibáñez's LinkedIn profile. 

In addition to being a member of the California-Spain Chamber of Commerce to promote and develop imported and exported food and beverage products between Europe and the United States, Ibáñez is a speaker and columnist on retail issues.

Through speaking engagements and written columns, Ibáñez provides thought leadership at industry forums, including the National Retail Federation, the National Supermarket Association, and the Retail Institute.

Ibáñez developed professionally at the Carrefour Group in Spain, where he participated in the merger process between this grocery giant and the Promodes firm in Europe. Likewise, he played a key role in the conversion of the Carrefour hypermarkets to their supermarket and express formats, as well as in the growth of the chain's private label.

After founding the international retail consulting project Sudamerica Business Retail LLC in 2006, he moved to San Francisco, California in 2008.

About Aurora Grocery Group

Ten years ago the Aurora Grocery Group was born, after the Peña, Gutiérrez and Jorge families decided to consolidate the management of all the Compare Foods, Gala Foods and Gala Fresh supermarkets into a single group. The chosen name was given in honor of Mrs. Aurora Peña, the matriarch of the family.

The company currently operates 38 supermarkets in the states of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and North Carolina. The objective with the arrival of Ibáñez is to continue expanding to other regions, initially reaching both South and Central Florida and Southwest Tennessee.

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