Chico’s names CEO and organizational consolidation

Chico’s FAS has ended its search for a chief executive with an internal appointee.

Bonnie Brooks has been named CEO and president of Chico’s FAS and will remain a member of the Chico’s board. Brooks, former vice chair, president and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, has served as interim CEO at Chico’s since the departure of Shelley Broader in April.

“Since being appointed interim CEO, Bonnie has moved quickly to sharpen the company’s focus on core priorities that have stabilized the business and positioned Chico’s FAS to deliver improved top- and bottom-line results,” said David Walker, chair of the board.

Walker said that the board received interest from a number of qualified external CEO candidates with deep merchant experience.

“The board determined, however, that the best way to build on the progress underway at this time is to appoint Bonnie as CEO,” he said. “In addition to providing continuity, Bonnie’s leadership enables us to continue leveraging both her experience driving numerous successful turnarounds at other apparel retailers as well as the knowledge she already has of Chico’s FAS.”

In other appointments, responsibility for Chico’s apparel brands — Chico’s and White House Black Market — has been consolidated under Molly Langenstein, appointed president, apparel group, effective August 1, 2019. Langenstein joins after nearly three decades with Macy’s, where she most recently served as general business manager, ready-to-wear.

Chico’s intimate brands, Soma and TellTale, will continue to be led by Mary van Praag, president, intimates group.

New CEO Brooks has been a member of the Chico’s board since 2016. She joined Hudson’s Bay in 2008 as CEO and president. From 2012 to 2014, Brooks served as President of Hudson’s Bay Company, responsible for both Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.

From 1997 to 2008, Brooks was based in Hong Kong serving as an executive officer, including as president, of the Lane Crawford Joyce Group, a women’s fashion retailer with over 500 stores in Asia, and as global merchandise manager for Dickson Concepts (International) Limited, a luxury retail group and owner of Harvey Nichols, U.K. Prior to that, Brooks spent over a decade at Holt Renfrew & Company.

“The leadership structure announced today will strengthen the organization, create clear lines of responsibility and accelerate our sales driving priorities,” Brooks said. “I am confident we are focused on the right areas and moving in the right direction with stronger performance expected in the second half of the year.”

Chico’s has been challenged with sliding sales. The company’s total same-store sales fell 4.9% last year while net sales fell to $2.1 billion from $2.3 billion. The retailer is also reducing its store portfolio, having announced with plans to close at least 250 U.S. locations over the next three years in what it called a “strategic decision to rebalance the mix between its physical store presence with its digital network.”

The retailer said that under Brooks’ leadership it has reset priorities for growth to focus on three distinct areas. These include driving stronger sales through improved product and marketing; optimizing the customer journey by simplifying, digitizing and extending the company’s unique and personalized service; and transforming sourcing and supply chain operations to increase product speed to market and improve quality.


Claire’s announces new CEO

Jewellery and accessories chain Claire’s has appointed Ryan Vero as its new CEO, which will see interim CEO Kevin Corning return to his role on the board.

Vero joins the company from Party City Retail Group, where he was president, overseeing nearly 1,000 retail stores in North America and Europe, as well as e-commerce and web operations.

He previously worked in executive leadership roles at Sears and OfficeMax, where he focused on key consumer business lines, as well as e-commerce, marketing and merchandising operations.

Vero said: “Claire’s is at a moment of great potential, as the retail industry continues to change rapidly and consumer preferences continue to shift. I’m looking forward to leveraging these opportunities to ensure the company is well-positioned for growth and that we are doing everything we can to provide our customers with the fun, unique products that they love.”

Samantha Algaze, chairman of the Claire’s board, added: “Ryan’s track record of growth through innovation makes him the ideal leader to drive Claire’s into the future. We look forward to this new era for Claire’s”.


VF Corp names new head of Dickie’s brand

VF Corporation has appointed Denny Bruce to the position of global brand president of Dickies, the company said Monday in a press release. Bruce will manage the brand’s direct-to-consumer and wholesale operations, and report to Curt Holtz, the executive vice president and group president of workwear, per the release.

Bruce was previously the executive vice president of sales, product and marketing at Traeger Pellet Grills, acted as the vice president of domestic sales at Skullcandy, and held roles at Vans and Burton Snowboards.

The appointment of Bruce follows a series of strategic decisions by the apparel and footwear conglomerate over the past few years. In 2016, VF announced that it would sell its contemporary brands businesses, which included the labels 7 for All Mankind, Splendid and Ella Moss to Delta Galil Industries for $120 million. In 2017, VF acquired Williamson-Dickie Mfg.

Then, in 2018 the company announced that it was going to spin off its denim business into a new company that would house the LeeWranglerRock & Republic and VF Outlet brands. That same year VF completed the sale of apparel brand Nautica to Authentic Brands Group.

Selling properties to become leaner and key acquisitions has so far proven successful, with the company posting $3.2 billion in net revenues for the quarter ending in March, an increase of 6% year over year, which surpassed estimates. The increase was driven by international and direct-to-consumer sales, and a strong showing by the active, outdoor and work segments. Full year fiscal revenues increased 12% to $13.8 billion.

Out of the 20 brands owned by VF, Dickies is the fourth largest brand by revenue, according to the company.


Source: Retail Dive

Sami Kahale to be the new CEO of Esselunga

Esselunga is to appoint the new CEO: Sami Kahale, Egyptian engineer living in Italy for several years, will succeed the current Managing Director Carlo Saza who, as newly elected President, will be in charge of defining the new distribution chain strategies.

Kahale, 58, graduated in engineering at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana (MBA in Economics at Babson College in Massachusetts) joined Esselunga in 2018 as general manager, after spending 33 years with Procter & Gamble and holding positions of increasing responsibility at national and international level, until becoming managing director for Southern Europe.

During his first year at Esselunga, Sami Kahale transferred both his know how and  his organizational, managerial and marketing skills to the managers.

Esselunga closed financial year 2018 with sales amounting almost 8 billion Euro and an adjusted Mol of 710 millions. such positive trend was confirmed over the first 2 quarters of 2019, with sales grown by 2.9%.


Source: Distribuzione Moderna