(Feb. 22) Grocery distributor and retailer Spartan Stores Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., has created some new positions as the company moves toward a more efficient and integrated management structure.

Spartan announced in a news release Feb. 21 that Dennis Eidson, formerly executive vice president marketing and merchandising, has filled the newly created role of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Eidson will lead marketing, merchandising and retail operations for all of Spartan’s 87 stores and independent distribution customers. The firm distributes products to 350 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and it operates stores under banners such as Family Fare Supermarkets and D&W Fresh Markets, among others.

Spartan said that its former vice president center store merchandising, Alan Hartline, is now in the new position of senior vice president corporate merchandising, and will report to Eidson. Replacing Hartline in his previous job is Brian Haaraoja.

Ted Adornato, Spartan’s executive vice president retail operations, also will report to Eidson.

"The newly created positions and reporting structure will allow us to better accommodate our continued growth,” said Spartan chairman, president and chief executive officer Craig C. Sturken, in the release. “The new management structure allows us to be a more nimble distribution and retail organization, which enhances our ability to respond quickly and effectively to changes in consumer behavior,” he continued.