Hi, Team. This is Wayne.Today the Board of Directors announced my appointment as president, CEO and chairman, replacingCraig Herkert. Craig took the helm during a time of great challenge for SUPERVALU, and I want to thankhim for his service over the past three years. I have attached the press release we issued today and acopy of my biography so you can learn more about me. I look forward to meeting as many of you as Ican in the coming weeks, and I will host an all-associate meeting tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT.I have served on the SUPERVALU Board of Directors since 2006, and like you, I have been disappointedwith our results. I am well aware of what our critics have said about us. You are all familiar with ourcontinued decline in sales, profitability and share value. I have spent most of my professional careerworking with and leading retail and non-retail companies through a variety of difficult situations. I see anumber of similarities between what I find as I join the SUPERVALU leadership team today and what Ifound upon joining Canadian Tire, a multi-billion-dollar, publicly owned retailer that was anticipatinglarge, fierce competitors who were expanding into Canada. I served as president and CEO of thatcompany from 2000 through 2006. We were faced with high prices, a high cost structure and no definedpoint of differentiation. But guess what? By all accounts, we were successful. I am here to leadSUPERVALU forward, and as I step into my new role, I am focused on accelerating our progress in fourareas:1.
We must generate profitable sales.
During my tenure on the Board, I have met many talented front-line team members who servecustomers directly and back-line team members who support and enable the front line.Together, we will take immediate steps to profitably improve sales and create points of sustainable differentiation in the marketplace. This will happen while we continue to roll outlong-term price improvements. Our goal is to be competitively priced, and we will move asquickly as possible to achieve this.2.
We must take significant costs out of the business.
Today, we are doing many things that are not business critical, are of low value or are notfocused on driving sales or profitability. Tough decisions will be made to change this reality. Thatsaid, I promise you we will be acting with the right objectives in mind. We will position ourselvesfor the future and we won’t take steps that impede our ability to serve customers. Simplystated, we must implement initiatives that take cost out of our business faster than we makeour price investments.3.
We must grow SAVE-A-LOT.
Our go-to-market strategy is unique, and among our greatest assets are our store directors,licensees and independent retailers. We will strengthen our engagement with our SAVE-A-LOTlicensees – leveraging their expertise, enhancing our collective performance, and ensuring ourability to grow a nationwide network of hard discount stores.
We must build on our strong legacy of serving independent retailers.
We will work with our independent retailers to reinforce their confidence in our ability toprovide the superior service they need to increase sales and profitability.As we go forward, time is our biggest enemy, and we are accountable for the keys to our success. Manyof our customers and investors have lost confidence and patience with SUPERVALU; I know some of you