Commenting on the appointment, Leite stated, “With Neal joining The Vitamin Shoppe we now have a new senior leadership team in place across the organization that is responsible for implementing our plan to drive the Company forward. Neal has worked for great Brands and brings valuable experience to effectively lead store turnarounds and transform organizations to sales cultures. He has a proven track record of developing and executing programs that drive profitable sustainable comparable same store sales growth. Neal will be a tremendous asset to The Vitamin Shoppe’s commitment to our customers and he is the right leader to build on the strength of our store Health Enthusiasts to ensure we deliver the personalized experience that our customer’s expect. We are delighted he has joined our team and look forward to working with him.”
“I am thrilled to be joining such a passionate team that is committed to our customer,” said Panza. “It is clear that The Vitamin Shoppe is a company with a relentless focus on the customer and is committed to their health, wellness and fitness journey. The experience I have gained at other specialty retailers has allowed me to creatively impact results through the customer lens. I look forward to helping The Vitamin Shoppe build stronger relationships with customers and evolve the store experience to be relevant for today’s consumer,” he added.
Panza was most recently at Williams-Sonoma where he was responsible for rebuilding a key market for the company. Prior to that he was at Brookstone where he was brought in to rebuild and revitalize the brand experience for the retail stores. From 2006 through 2015 he was employed at Gymboree Corp., a 1,400 store chain, where he had increasing responsibility culminating in vice president of stores. While at Gymboree, he was responsible for five brands and successfully increased profitability of under-performing regions and delivered positive comparable same store sales reflecting initiatives such as increasing conversion and streamlining retail operations.
Earlier in his career, Panza was employed by The Walt Disney Company with increasing responsibility, including the Canadian business, as well as launching the first outlet stores. He has also worked at specialty retailers Eddie Bauer and American Eagle Outfitters. He has a B.A. degree, English/Communications from St. Vincent College.