Greensboro, N.C. —Larry Appel is the new president and CEO of specialty grocer The Fresh Market, the company announced. He joins the 176-store chain with nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy.

Brian Nicholson, the company’s chief financial officer who served as the company’s interim CEO, will remain in his role as CFO. He had been interim CEO since Rick Anicetti resigned in July. Appel joins the chain as the supermarket industry is in a state of rapid change.

From 2002 to 2012, Appel served at Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., a 500-store southeastern United States grocery chain, in a variety of senior leadership roles including chief operations officer, chief human resources officer, head of strategy and chief legal officer. After leaving Winn-Dixie, he was CEO of Skeeter Snacks, LLC, a leading producer of natural and wholesome snacks made in a dedicated nut-free facility.

From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Appel was SVP of legal at The Home Depot, Inc., the world’s largest home improvement retailer. Mr. Appel received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

“I am committed to reenergizing all that sets The Fresh Market apart as a great brand and retail store,” Appel said. “Its heritage and history provide a strong platform in continuing to define the company as a unique ‘specialty’ grocer, offering best-in-class products and customer service. I plan to work with our teams to further elevate every aspect of our business – all with a sharp focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience every day in every store.”

The retailer has stores in 24 states across the U.S.