Sonia Rykiel appoints new managing director

Sonia Rykiel appointed Perry Oosting as the brand’s managing director at the last general meeting on 18 July.

Eric Langon, who was the Managing Director of the French fashion house since 2012, is therefore leaving the role and his function as administrator for the business. The executive, former operations manager at Lancel and CFO at Céline, first arrived alongside the first investment into the label from First Heritage Brands. In 2016, the investment fund went on to acquire 100 percent of the French fashion house, shortly after the death of Sonia Rykiel.

In 2016, the label announced its reorganisation, with the intention of reinvigorating the business. Whether it was a change of era or just a bad fit, the brand now has a new head. The Amsterdam-based executive Oosting appears to be the man in whom Marc Loubier, head of First Heritage Brands (which he founded with the powerful Fung family from Hong Kong), has put his trust. As a luxury specialist, former director at Prada, Gucci, and Bulgari, Oosting has worked as the managing director of Clergerie for the past year, another of First Heritage Brand’s subsidiaries amongst other brands including the Belgian leather goods brand Delvaux and Sonia Rykiel Perfume and Beauty.

Sonia Rykiel’s board of directors, headed by Jean-Marc Loubier, consists of a group including Julie de Libran and some close to Fung Investment, such as Monica Tsui, Giles Hefer and Martin Angus.


Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi moves up to Ferragamo CEO

Salvatore Ferragamo has named former Kering executive Micaela le Divelec Lemmi as its new CEO although it’s less of a change than it might have been given that she has been general manager of the company since the spring.

Le Divelec Lemmi, who had been CFO of Kering’s wildly successful Gucci brand, takes up the new role immediately, the Italian luxury company said.

Ferragamo had been without a CEO since February when Eraldo Poletto stepped down, with the firm and the outgoing executive disagreeing over strategy.

The new chief must now inject some dynamism into the brand with results proving lacklustre in recent periods. As it announced its new appointment, the company also said its first half revenue was down 3.4% currency-neutral or 6.2% on a reported basis to €674 million, lower than the €685 million that analysts had predicted. Retail sales fell 5.2% and wholesale was down 7.6%.

Europe and North America both declined and even Asia Pacific revenue dropped 5.5% with China down 1%, although the firm’s own Chinese stores rose 15.5% and Hong Kong rose 32% currency-neutral. Ebitda fell 14.5% to €117 million while net profit dropped 23.1% to €59 million.

A revival really is needed at Ferragamo. In the first half, sales of the product category on which the firm was founded, footwear, fell 5.5% to €285.6 million, while leather bags and accessories edged up only 1.6% to €262.7 million. Perfume fell 8.9% to €38.7 million, despite the launch of its major new scent Amo.

To reverse this decline, Poletto, who has since moved on to become CEO of the Stuart Weitzman brand at Tapestry Inc, had wanted the company to focus more of the firm’s investment cash on digital sales and marketing.

Will the new CEO follow that path? She hasn’t shared her strategy yet but her 20 years of experience at Gucci will certainly have shown her just how a brand can be revived and turned into a must-have.


Bally names CMO and CEO of EMEA

Bally has made a number of executive changes, naming Eva Quirrenbach as chief marketing officer and Silvia Onofri as chief executive of the EMEA region. Quirrenbach was previously vice president of global brand marketing at Tory Burch, while Onofri has been promoted from vice president of global wholesale, which she will continue holding.


FCA Announces Jeep Boss Mike Manley As New CEO, Replacing Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler named on Saturday its Jeep division boss Mike Manley to take over immediately from Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who is seriously ill after suffering major complications following surgery. The carmaker said British-born Manley, who also takes responsibility for the North America region, will push ahead with the mid-term strategy outlined last month by Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April. Marchionne, 66, was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004. On Saturday he was also replaced as chairman and CEO of Ferrari and chairman of tractor maker CNH Industrial – both spun off from FCA in recent years.

“FCA communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,” the statement said.

FCA disclosed earlier this month that Marchionne, a renowned dealmaker and workaholic, was recovering from a shoulder operation. But his condition deteriorated sharply in recent days when he suffered massive complications that were not divulged. Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri becomes chief executive. CNH appointed Suzanna Heywood to replace Marchionne as chairman.

All three companies remain controlled by the Agnellis. Marchionne had previously said he planned to stay on as Ferrari Chairman and CEO until 2021.


Walmart names new a leader for healthcare business

Walmart has named Sean Slovenski as senior VP of health and wellness for Walmart U.S., effective Aug. 1, according to a company memo from Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran.

In his new role, Slovenski will work to implement the company’s plan to put more focus on the health and wellness business in the near term, with the goal of making health care more affordable and accessible. Most recently, Slovenski was president of Healthways’ population health division.

“Sean is a proven leader and entrepreneur with an established track record in defining and building businesses within the healthcare industry,” Foran said. “I am delighted to bring such an experienced executive on board to lead a critical area of our business.”

In addition to his time at Healthways, Slovenski previously was CEO of Care Innovations, an Intel-GE joint venture, as well as vice president of innovation at Humana.

Marybeth Hays, who currently oversees the retailer’s health and wellness business, is engaged in the transition and will be sharing more details of her next position at a later date, Foran said. Latriece Watkins will continue leading the company’s consumables portfolio, reporting to chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies.


Source: Chain Store Age 

U.S. retail CEOs expect M&A activity to drive bullish growth

The nation’s retail chief executives are bullish on growth.

That’s one of the findings of KPMG LLP’s 2018 U.S. CEO Outlook report, in which 83% of CEOs in the consumer and retail industry say they are very confident about the growth prospects of their companies during the next three years. Mergers and acquisitions were cited as the top (38%) growth driver, followed by third-party strategic alliances (23%). M&A activity is expected to transform retailers’ business models faster than organic growth, reduce costs, increase market share and on-board new technologies, according to KPMG.

“Although U.S. CEOs are bullish on the business prospects of their companies, the percentage increase in growth over the next three years may still be moderate,” said Mark Larson, national leader of KPMG’s consumer & retail practice. “Retailers that acquire the right technologies, either through M&A or third-party alliances, and successfully personalize the shopping experience for their customers, may see the highest percentage increases in growth.”

In other findings, nearly all of the executives (98%) see technological disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat. Most (92%) also said they are keeping up with innovation.

When it comes to emerging technologies, 94% of the CEOs expect to see a significant ROI from digital transformation and AI within the next five years. The majority of the executives (88%) said that technological investments made to personalize the customer experience have already delivered the growth benefits expected, but there is more that can be done.

CEOs are also staying mindful of the potential risks that digital technologies pose. The executives named cyber-security and emerging/disruptive technology as the greatest threats to their organizations’ growth (25% each), followed by operational risk (21%). Ninety-percent of the respondents said that protecting customer data is one of the most important responsibilities for their organizations in order to grow.

“Risks such as cyber-security, managing customer data and adoption of new technology can significantly impact retailers’ top-line and long-term growth,” said Duleep Rodrigo, risk consulting industry leader, consumer & retail, KPMG. “Since the various risks in retail are heavily interconnected, rapidly evolving, and impact each retailer in a unique way, companies need to be creative in taking a balanced approach in managing risk and maintaining consumer trust, particularly as it relates to technology.”


Nestle to pay $7.15 billion to Starbucks in coffee tie-up

Nestle will pay Starbucks $7.15 billion as part of a global coffee alliance in which the Swiss-based food giant is getting the rights to market the U.S. coffee company’s products around the world outside Starbucks’ coffee shops.

Starbucks said on Monday it will use proceeds to speed-up share buybacks and the deal would add to earnings per share (EPS) by 2021 at the latest. Nestle saw the deal adding to earnings by 2019.

Nestle and Starbucks are joining forces in a highly fragmented consumer drinks category that has seen a string of deals lately.

JAB Holdings, the private investment firm of Europe’s billionaire Reimann family, has fueled the consolidation wave with a series of deals including Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Keurig Green Mountain, narrowing the gap with Nestle.

“This global coffee alliance will bring the Starbucks experience to the homes of millions more around the world through the reach and reputation of Nestle,” said Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson.

Coffee is popular with millennials who have grown up with Starbucks and often seek out smaller brands. A willingness to pay up for exotic beans and specialty drinks means companies can brew up richer profit margins than in mainstream packaged food.

Starbucks plans to use the proceeds to accelerate share buybacks and now expects to return approximately $20 billion in cash to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends through fiscal year 2020, it said.

It said the transaction was expected to add to earnings per share by the end of fiscal year 2021 or sooner, with no change to the company’s currently stated long-term financial targets.

In a separate statement, Nestle said it expected the business to contribute positively to its earnings per share and organic growth targets from 2019.

Nestle, which will take on about 500 Starbucks employees as part of the deal, says its ongoing share buyback program would remain unchanged.