New Sweetwater distribution staff

Sweetwater distribution managers from left are SVP of Distribution Robert Gerwig, Chief Supply Chain Officer Phil Rich, Senior Director Demarcus Austin and Director of Fulfillment Jeff Harrison.

Sweetwater announced the promotion of Phil Rich into a newly established role as chief supply chain officer. In this role, which is an extension of his former position as the chief merchandising officer, Rich will be responsible for providing leadership for Sweetwater’s merchandising and distribution center teams. This includes overseeing all vendor and manufacturer relationships, pricing, promotions, and supply chain processes. Rich is in his 10th year at Sweetwater and has been in the retail music industry for 23 years.

“I’m very excited to step into this new role,” said Rich. “This opportunity will further allow me to refine our vendor relationships on all fronts, from new product launches to improved logistics. What’s also particularly interesting is that being part of our distribution center puts me a lot closer to the customer. I’m able to help refine our processes to ensure the best outcomes for everyone involved.”

”We are thrilled to elevate Phil into this new position,” said Sweetwater Founder and CEO Chuck Surack. “During the COVID pandemic, Phil has been instrumental in helping to maintain inventory levels and keep shipments moving out the door, which has allowed us to serve our valuable customers in the manner they’ve come to expect. It just made sense for him to take an even larger leadership role.”

Sweetwater also recently appointed three new managers in the distribution center.

Robert Gerwig is the new senior vice president of distribution. Just prior to joining Sweetwater, Robert spent six years managing Macy’s global supply chain in Chicago. “I was drawn to Sweetwater because of the combination of a keen focus on customer as well as employees,” said Gerwig. “In addition, I am excited to contribute to the growth of such an amazing company.”

Demarcus Austin is the new senior director in the distribution center. Before relocating to Fort Wayne, Austin was head of distribution operations at Newegg in Los Angeles. “I’m humbled to be awarded the opportunity to join the Sweetwater family, to be around so many positive individuals where the everyday message is doing the right thing.”

Jeff Harrison is the new director of fulfillment, 2nd shift. He grew up in northeast Indiana and most recently worked in Indianapolis, where he was a manager at Walmart’s largest eCommerce facility. “In the short time I’ve been here I’m already impressed by the immense amount of talent on the team. I am really excited about the positive things happening at Sweetwater and am grateful to be a part of it,” Harrison said.

Sweetwater’s new 480,000-square-foot-facility opened in February with more than 35,000 packages being received and shipped from there daily.

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