Category B: (26-199 Stores), Finalist, SMA

Brad Holt

Food City
Crossville, TN

Even after 26 years in the industry, things just keep looking up for Brad Holt, manager of Food City store #656 in Crossville, TN. Take, for example sales: sales at his store in 2022 were up 12.3% from 2021 and were up 20.37% compared to 2020. Gross profits were likewise up, to the tune of 8.5 % compared to the prior year.

His store’s positive trajectory landed it as the top store in his district by sales volume. That location also came in first for performance on consumer surveys, a measure of how shoppers view the store from a variety of perspectives.

The strong year-over-year performance was also a catalyst for the store’s election as a test site for the company partnership with Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG). This Food City teamed up with AWG to supply dry grocery items in part of the store, a process that was vetted by Holt. As a result, he’s now leading the project for his district.

While he strives to lift sales and elevates his store’s reputation as a leader, Holt is also focused on motivating his team to greater success. With a leadership style described as caring, fair and balanced, he works with associates to set goals and helps them develop a career plan. He holds weekly self-scoring evaluations for his departments and shares feedback to help them continue to improve to best service customers. As a result of his mentorship and encouragement, several team members have subsequently been promoted to store management positions, in addition to district supervision roles and department leader jobs.

Holt's support of his team has a ripple effect. Under his leadership and with his guidance, the store team has the highest overall customer service scores in the district. On a personal level, he has become more involved on the district level, often called on by the district manager and vice president to help with special projects.

More than two decades in the business has reinforced the importance of customer relations for Holt. He greets customers many by name, and often, knows the names of their family members and how to best meet their needs.

Service to his hometown community is also a priority for Holt. Among other programs, his Food City hosts an annual Race Against Hunger during the holidays to raise funds for hunger relief. Holt supports a variety of other local efforts, such an organization that supports young performers in the arts and athletic programs at area schools.

“His attention to detail is second to none and his store is always ready for business.”