SpotlightsView All Spotlights

Mark Tuffin

Staying a Step Ahead of Change

By: Tom Haraldsen

December 1, 2011

Mark Tuffin loves challenges. He also loves the food industry. So it was a perfect match when Tuffin was named president of the Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division of Kroger in July. By that time, he’d already completed a formidable assignment for Kroger—implementing an organizational restructuring that affected 18 of the company’s retail divisions.

“That’s probably the accomplishment I’m proudest of,” he says. “We wanted to get all of our divisions in alignment, structured in a fairly similar manner. It took us almost two years to finish. The concept was working on ‘back stage’ things, non-customer-related work, to create an infrastructure where we could economize our employee’s efforts.”

The process, primarily focused on helping the organization better serve its customers, gave him “a great window into Kroger as an organization, seeing how the different divisions interact and how we could be more efficient,” he says.

Tuffin’s responsibilities now cover 132 Smith’s Food and Drug locations in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming; together, these locations employ about 14,000 associates.

A native of Great Britain, Tuffin grew up in the grocery business.

“My family was in the industry for a long time, so I gained some great perspective,” he says. Following his collegiate studies in economics in London, he came to the United States and loved it, eventually moving to Utah and joining the Smith’s team in 1996. He has held several leadership roles in merchandising for Kroger, as well as coordinating the restructuring.

“The grocery industry is fast paced and constantly changing. When you think about the food industry and everything it touches, it’s affected by so many things—the economy, food safety, inflation. At some point, those all connect to this industry.”

Tuffin says continued improvements in technology also bring with them the need to adapt.

“In the past, we often went with our ‘gut instinct’ when looking at our customer’s needs and wants,” he says. “Technology has aided us greatly in becoming more proficient at adjusting to those needs. It’s also helping us as we continually look at new concepts in store layout and design.”

When he gets some time away from the office, Tuffin loves the outdoors.

“Skiing, snowmobiling, boating, hunting—we love living in Utah and all that it offers us to be able to play and relax. It’s just trying to find the time to enjoy it that’s a challenge.”


Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Fast 50 Utah Business Event
Aug 27, 2015
The top 50 companies will be selected based on a combination of revenue growth and revenue genera...
Job Summit - POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2015 Utah Business Event
Sep 24, 2015
NOTE: The date listed below is not secured. We will update as the event gets closer. Thank you ...
Community Events View All
Critical People Management Skills for First-time Managers
Jul 30, 2015
Employers Council, a trusted non-profit employers association, is proud to present Critical Peopl...
Instant Motivation With Your Brain
Jul 30, 2015
Where Could You Use More Motivation? We often get really excited about something and start off ...  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
* Event Description: