Category B: (26-199 Stores), Finalist

Dionne Martin

Giant Food
Fort Washington, MD

It may be located in a food desert, but the success at the store Dionne Martin manages is no mirage. Thanks in large part to her dedication and skill, the Giant Food location in Washington D.C. ranked first in the division’s comparable sales for the most recent year, up 11.7%, and posted a 2.6% gain in comparable volume. The sales percentage versus budgeted results was also impressive, up 20.8%, and the store’s AES came in at 85%.

As Martin led her store to record-setting sales growth in an area that has the lowest medium income in the nation’s capital, she has done it by forging strong relationships with her shoppers, staff, community members and civic leaders.

Starting with the shoppers who ultimately lift sales and volume, Martin rolled out a pilot of a self-scan program called “Everseen” that offers more efficient service to customers. Her store was the first to implement a “DC Greens” prescription produce program through which customers can receive a weekly prescription to buy $20 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables. To ensure that shoppers were able to find products they needed and wanted, she piloted a GlobalWorx program to reduce out-of-stocks and effectively steered communications between her center-store manager and vendors.

Internally, Martin serves as a mentor, encourages mentorship among other staffers and engages various membership groups to guide team members, such as The Network of Executive Women. She promoted and mentored four front end manager and three assistant store managers in 2021.

The notion of self-improvement extends to Martin’s personal efforts as well. She recently completed a retail management certification program at Anne Arundel Community College and the McKinsey Academy Black Leadership Management Accelerator Program. In addition to honing her skills and guiding her store and teams, she serves as operations officer for the Mid-Atlantic Region of The Network of Executive Women that delivers quality training programs and networking opportunities for a community of more than 12,500 women and men.

Strong community ties are especially important to Martin. She has embarked upon several community outreach efforts, such as partnering with Giant's Healthy Living Team to educate the DC Ward 8 community to eat healthier and stay active. She interacted with the city’s council members to improve awareness and safety in and beyond her store and partnered with the Purpose for Life, Inc. Organization on local food drives and school supply drives. Indeed, beyond managing one store in a food desert, she’s brought new life and vibrancy to the area surrounding it.

“Dionne is an outstanding store manager with a passion for developing people and operational excellence. She has a heart of gold and is willing to walk through fire to get the job done.”