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Category B: (26-199 Stores), Finalist

William Randall

Giant Food
Falls Church, Va.

Assigned the task of opening a new store in Falls Church, Virginia in March 2020, William Randall did what many store managers did in that period – pivot – but on a different and unique level.  As original plans for the opening weekend were put on hold and the location became the first store with a positive COVID-19 case, Randall focused on delivering the best and safest experiences for both shoppers and team members.

A manager who believes in openness, Randall answered questions about the health crisis in a positive way, making employees feel comfortable going to work and giving their all. In addition to shoring up safety practices and working to ensure that customers got what they wanted and needed, he led the store’s efforts during its opening month to donate to a local woman’s shelter homeless shelter, church and fire department to help feed the community.

Although it had an irregular starting point, the Falls Church store had strong performance in its first year. Randall and his team beat their total net sales budget by $2.3 million and exceeded their gross profit budget by $1.3 million. As a reflection of his leadership, the associate engagement score was well above the chain average at a 96 out of 100 and turnover was less than 10%. In the store’s inaugural year, he promoted 36 team members and trained top talent to get to the next level within the organization.

Giant Food, in turn, recognized Randall’s successful skill set by tapping him to serve as a district trainer for future store managers. His emphasis on making changes based on customer feedback, respecting the people who work for Giant Food and understanding the impact of a simple “hello” or “good morning” made him the right manager at the right time for the new store caused him to instill that kind of grace under pressure leadership in others.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved and abated somewhat, Randall is taking his store into its second year with an innovative cross-merchandising program to drive sales. Even as he pairs Matchbox cars with cereals or apple peelers with apples, his ability to turn lemons into lemonade is a differentiator for this manager.

“In 2020, Bill was challenged in a way he has never been challenged before and his strengths in these three areas helped Bill successfully manage his team during the pandemic and social unrest while opening a new store.” --Nominator Daniel Wolk, manager of external communications and community relations, Giant Food