Coborn’s Names New SVP of Center Store Merchandising

Kris Roberts will succeed Andy Knoblauch
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Coborn's Andy Knoblauch Kris Roberts Main Image
Left to right: Andy Knoblauch and Kris Roberts

Coborn’s Inc. has appointed Kris Roberts its next SVO of center store merchandising. Roberts will officially take on the role when current SVP of Center Store Merchandising Andy Knoblauch retires on March 1, 2024.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Kris to the Coborn’s team,” said Coborn’s COO David Best, who himself was recently named the successor to President and COO Dave Meyer. “She’s known for driving profitable growth and transformational change with a collaborative and inspiring leadership style. Kris will be a crucial part of the Coborn’s leadership team as we continue to advance our organization.” 

In her new position, Roberts will lead the company’s strategic merchandising initiatives in grocery, dairy, frozen, health and beauty, and general merchandise. She comes to Coborn’s with extensive experience in buying, merchandising, business development and sales, having spent more than 25 years at Target Corp., in addition to stints at Summit Point Services, Power Objects, Microsoft and Wipro Ltd.

A graduate of Minnesota State University – Mankato and St. Thomas University, Roberts will be able to work alongside Knoblauch for the next months before his departure in the spring.

Knoblauch joined Coborn’s in 1990 as a buyer and quickly began rising through the ranks of the organization. He became VP of sales in 1995 and SVP of sales and marketing in 2003, in which role he oversaw merchandising for fresh, center store and marketing. Knoblauch was promoted to his current position in 2015.

St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s, is a 102-year-old employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 10,000 employees and 77 grocery stores in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois operating under the Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, Marketplace Foods, Hornbacher’s, Tadych’s Marketplace Foods and Sullivan’s Foods banners.The company also operates fuel, liquor and pharmacy locations. To support its 135-plus retail business units, Coborn’s, Inc. runs its own central bakery, dry-cleaning facility and grocery distribution center. The company is No. 84 The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Coborn’s was also recognized by Progressive Grocer Magazine as one of the Top 10 Regional Grocers in the United States in 2023. Minneapolis-based Target is No. 6 on PG’s list.

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