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Peninsula Co-op appoints new CEO

A former Walmart Canada executive, Corey Gillon most recently served as CEO of cannabis start-up Choom, which he built and led to its sale

A former Walmart Canada executive and Harvard business graduate has been appointed chief executive of Peninsula Co-op.

Corey Gillon succeeds Dave Hoy, who retired after a decade at the Peninsula helm and more than 44 years in co-operative retail, where he started as a clerk.

Gillon has more than 25 years of experience in senior executive roles in Canadian and U.S.-owned retailers, serving as senior vice-president of retail at Aritzia Inc. and regional vice-president operations and and ecommerce at Walmart Canada. Most recently, he was CEO of cannabis start-up Choom,which he built and led to its most recent sale.

The bulk of Gillon’s career was with Walmart, where over 18 years he held senior leadership roles domestically and internationally and led more than 100 stores and 22,000 employees. He led Walmart stores across Western Canada, including Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo and Courtenay.

“Corey understands and values the positive impact a local retail organization can have on the community it serves as he relocated to varies communities throughout his time at Walmart and became an integral fixture in those communities,” said a statement from Peninsula Co-op. “His extensive experience within the retail industry, his strong business background, and his value of local community connections will support the next stage of growth and diversification of Peninsula Co-op.”

Peninsula Co-op operates from Duncan to Victoria, and has operations in Comox and Campbell River. It has more than 112,000 member-owners and 350 full and part-time employees in grocery, petroleum, liquor and home-heating products, and annual revenues of about $260 million.

Peninsula Co-op returned $4 million to its member-owners through rebates in the last fiscal year, and $500,000 was contributed to local community initiatives.

Rebates, which include purchases a member has made during that fiscal year from April to March, are issued in December, with 80% paid out in annual cheques to members and the remainder put in a preferred share account and paid out after six years, providing the co-op’s financial position remains strong.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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