Eric began his career at Grocery Outlet in 1996. After working in the merchandising, operations and purchasing, he and his business partner for 20 years, MacGregor Read, took over the helm of GO as Co-CEOs in 2006. The company at that time was approx. 100 stores and $500M in sales. The two worked on expanding the brand, broadening the merchandise assortment, adding stores and enhancing the marketing side of the business. In 2009, they transitioned ownership from second generation owners (Peter and Steven Read) to their first private equity partner (Berkshire Partners- Boston). The brand was at that time 135 stores and nearing a billion in revenues. The chapter with Berkshire Partners was marked by store expansion, the addition of some core capabilities and furthering the brands influence and concentration with big brand suppliers. In 2014, the team sold to their second private equity partner (Hellman and Friedman- San Francisco). At this point, GO was 205 stores and roughly $1.8b in revenues. They partnered with H+F to ramp store growth, add meaningful geography, strengthen the core of the model (purchasing and their operator model) and prepare the business for an eventual option to go public. In 2019, Grocery Outlet listed on NASDAQ under the ticker GO. Today, GO operates approximately 450 stores across 8 states (CA, OR, WA, ID, NV, PA, MD, NJ), enjoys relationships with approx. 2500 suppliers across the globe, and provides unparalleled value to over 450 communities and continues to attract some of the best retailers in the business to join the independent operator model.
Grocery Outlet was founded in 1946 and is the largest extreme-value grocery chain in the U.S. Each location is independently owned and operated by locally-based families. Grocery Outlet, often referred to the TJ Maxx of Grocery, partners directly with CPG suppliers to buy opportunistic, name brand products enabling GO to offer customers up to 70% savings compared to traditional grocery stores.
Eric transitioned the CEO responsibility to RJ Sheedy Jan 1, 2023. Eric will now Chair the board and work with management and the board on strategic issues and growth initiatives. He will remain connected as well with the operator community, something he is passionate about. Eric is active with the Cal Poly Rodeo Board, The California Rangeland Trust, and was past Chapter Chair of YPO’s Golden Gate Chapter in SF. He and his wife, Megan, live in the San Francisco Bay Area. They enjoy horses, travel, skiing and exercise. Eric and Megan have three children together, Sutter, Tessa, and Logan.