Sprouts Names James Bahrenburg as New Tech Czar

Last month, Sprouts Farmers Market named industry veteran James Bahrenburg Chief Technology Officer. Bahrenburg brings more than 35 years of food retail experience to the table. He comes to the specialty grocery retailer after serving as chief information officer of Good Food Holdings, the parent of grocers Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets, a post he held since 2019.

Sprouts indicated in a press release that Bahrenburg will report directly to Sprouts’ Chief Executive Officer Jack Sinclair. He will supervise the tactical direction and administration of all facets of Sprouts’ technology. Sinclair said Bahrenburg’s profound experience in retail technology management will be an “invaluable resource” as the company looks to improve its platforms to sustain the continued implementation of its strategy for long-term growth. Before his time with Good Food Holdings, Bahrenburg served 99 Cents Only Stores for more than 12 years, including holding the titles of senior vice president – chief information officer from 2016 to 2019 and vice president – business process and IT planning from 2010 to 2015.

Bahrenburg’s first priority is to implement the strategic technology initiatives already planned at Sprouts “to enhance and elevate digital platforms” for the retailer. The grocer, based in Phoenix, Arizona, said in August that it sees great opportunity to grab a larger share of its targeted consumers’ dollars, in particular through digital outlets. Sprouts indicated it has experienced growth across Instacart, DoorDash and its own channels.

“We’re creating this omnichannel customer who’s very in tune with the curated assortment that we’ve got and the data that I have got, and we’ll get more data going forward,” Sinclair told analysts. “But the data that we’ve got so far suggests that we’re growing share with those target customers, which has always been the intent since we really pivoted the strategy around this target customer base.”

This strategic nomination comes immediately following Sprouts’ 400th store opening, while the company is also in search of its next chief financial officer. Sprouts recently announced that Lawrence “Chip” Molloy will retire at the end of this calendar year. Molloy has served as CFO since September 2021. Sprouts said it will conduct a thorough internal and external search for Molloy’s successor. Sprouts employs 31,000 team members in stores across 23 states.