Grocery

Coworking with John Shaw

He’s the head of supply (merchandise, sourcing, and replenishment) at Farmstead.
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· less than 3 min read

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For John Shaw, grocery runs in the family: For more than 50 years, his grandfather owned a couple of Piggly Wiggly’s in Texas and Arkansas. Still, the industry wasn’t Shaw’s own path…at first. He went to law school—and even practiced (“briefly,” he noted)—before landing at Walmart. After almost a decade at the retail giant, with roles spanning international strategy, sourcing fresh produce, and more, Shaw then moved to Ahold Delhaize’s e-comm-focused Peapod Digital Labs, where he focused on international sourcing. Now, he’s at online grocery startup Farmstead as its head of supply (merchandise, sourcing, and replenishment)—a job you can learn more about straight from the source.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? My team builds, decides, and negotiates our assortment. This includes the selection of items we carry, who we source from, negotiations, promotions, partnerships, and fun, innovative ways to bring a curated assortment to life. We can move with speed and add items within a day, so we listen to feedback.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile: Retail requires a great deal of discipline mixed with creativeness. I love the creative side and thinking through storytelling: pick the right items, merchandise them, and bring an interesting story to life that resonates with consumers.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? We launched Chicago in February of this year. I loved partnering with local suppliers to bring a true Chicago feel to our assortment with 100+ local items.

Hands down, the best fast food restaurant chain is…Chick-fil-A.

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