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News Briefs

  • 3/21/2023

    Bloomingdale’s in a first with new C-suite post

    Bloomingdale’s has added a new position in its executive suite.

    The upscale department store retailer, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, has named Denise Magid its very first chief merchant. Magid will drive the strategic direction and performance of all Bloomingdale's merchandising initiatives, and ultimately influencing the future growth of the Bloomingdale's brand.

    Magid joined Bloomingdales in 2019 as GMM, ready-to-wear, concessions, adding off-price in 2020 and women's accessories in 2021.  Prior to Bloomindale’s, she held senior leadership roles at both Intermix and Saks Fifth Avenue,

    "We are confident that Denise's vision and leadership will continue to strengthen our relationships with our brand partners and further refine how we can cater to the unique needs of the Bloomingdale's customer. We look forward to Denise's impact in this newly created role," said Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring.

    The creation of the chief merchant role is a historic step for Bloomingdale's and allows the brand to build on the exciting momentum coming off its strong 2022 performance and its 150th anniversary celebration, the company said.

    "I look forward to taking on the role of chief merchant and working closely with the GMMs and the Bloomingdale's team to push the boundaries of what's possible,” Magrid said. “Bloomingdale's  holds a special place in the retail landscape, yet I truly believe the best is yet to come."

    A division of Macy's, Bloomindale’s currently operates 34 Bloomingdale's stores, 20 Bloomingdale's The Outlet stores, and two Bloomie's stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

    In addition, Bloomingdale's has an international presence with a location in Dubai and Kuwait.

  • 3/20/2023

    Study: Gen Z consumers least likely to reduce spending amid inflation

    Gen Z shoppers

    Consumer behavior and attitude toward inflation differs greatly by generation. 

    Gen Z consumers are the least likely to report that inflation has impacted their spending, and they are most reluctant to reduce spending compared to other generations, according to a report by Jungle Scout, an all-in-one platform for e-commerce sellers.

    The report found that, even amid inflation, Gen Z consumers are also setting a new standard for e-commerce, with 32% of shopping online at least once daily. This compares to 25% of Millennials, 15% of Gen X, and 7% of Baby Boomers.

    Key findings from Jungle Scout’s “Q1 Consumer Trends Report” are below.

    • Forty-three percent of Gen Z consumers start their online product searches on TikTok, a higher number than those who start on Google.

    • Gen Z consumers are the most likely to shop secondhand online to save money, with 42% purchasing a pre-owned item online in the past year.

    Millennials are more worried about their finances than any other generation and are nearly twice as likely to have an unstable household income compared to baby boomers.

    Baby boomers are 78% more likely than Gen Z to purchase items on sale and are more likely than any other generation to use credit cards with money-saving perks. 

    Fifty-six of Gen X and 43% of millennials are cutting back on fun/impulse purchases to save money, compared to only 37% of Gen Z consumers.

    “In the world of e-commerce, one size does not fit all,” says Michael Scheschuk, president of small & medium business at Jungle Scout. “Businesses must understand each generation's unique values, preferences, and behaviors to create tailored strategies. As the youngest and newest cohort of shoppers, Gen Z offers invaluable insights into the current and future trends shaping retail.” 

  • 3/16/2023

    CEO of GNC is out

    Josh Burris has left the building.

    Burris is no longer the CEO of GNC. Burris, who was named chief executive in February 2021, has not been with the nutritional supplements retailer since January 2023, according to his LinkedIn page. GNC has not issued a release on his departure. 

    The news was first reported by Pittsburgh Business Times.

    Burris joined GNC in 2019 as president and chief U.S. officer. Prior to that, he spend seven years, from 2012 to 2019, at AM Retail Group. Before AM, he was with Abercrombie & Fitch Co., from 1996, to 2012.

    Burris’ appointment as chief executive of GNC followed its restructuring in 2020. which the company completed with new ownership, a reduced store portfolio and clean balance sheet. GNC filed for bankruptcy in June 2020, and several months later sold its assets to its largest shareholder, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co.

    NC operates more than 3,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

    [Read More: GNC shifts customer contact center to cloud]

  • 3/16/2023

    Consumer sentiment weakens in March — so do short-term inflation expectations

    man at store checkout

    Consumer sentiment in March fell for the first time in four months even as short-term inflation expectations ebbed.

    The overall consumer sentiment index declined to 63.4 in March, down from 67 in February, according to the University of Michigan's preliminary March reading. But the index remains 7% above a year ago.

    “This month’s decrease was already fully realized prior to the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, at which time about 85% of our interviews for this preliminary release had been completed,” said Joanne Hsu, surveys of consumers director.

    The sentiment declines in March were concentrated among lower-income, less-educated and younger consumers, as well as consumers with the top tercile of stock holdings.

    “Overall, all components of the index worsened relatively evenly, primarily on the basis of persistently high prices, creating downward momentum for sentiment leading into the financial turmoil that began last week,” Hsu said.

    The decline in sentiment came even as year-ahead inflation expectations receded from 4.1% in February to 3.8% in early March, the lowest reading since April 2021. (Inflation expectations remain well above the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic.)

    Long-run inflation expectations edged down to 2.8%, falling below the narrow 2.9-3.1% range for only the second time in the last 20 months. Long-run inflation expectations remain elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6% range seen in the two years pre-pandemic.

    “With ongoing turbulence in the financial sector and uncertainty over the Fed’s possible policy response, inflation expectations are likely to be volatile in the months ahead,” Hsu said.

  • 3/16/2023

    Shoe Carnival names CFO

    A longtime Shoe Carnival veteran is retiring.

    The family footwear and accessories retailer announced that Erik Gast has been named executive VP, CFO effective April 24, 2023. He succeeds W. Kerry Jackson, who will be retiring after a 35-year career with Shoe Carnival.

     Gast will join the company from Fleet Farm Group, where he has been the executive VP and CFO since 2020. In that role,  he was instrumental in driving improved financial performance and developing long-term strategic plans, stated Shoe Carnival.

    Prior to that, Gast held numerous executive leadership roles at other major retailers and customer-facing brands, including Great Wolf Resorts, Pilot Travel Centers, Family Dollar and Ace Hardware.

    “We’re excited to welcome Erik to our leadership team,” said Mark J. Worden, president and CEO.  “His distinguished career in finance and accounting, along with his experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and his deep knowledge of the retail industry, will play a key role in our strategic growth initiatives as we seek to become a multi-billion-dollar retailer.”

    Jackson will continue to serve as the company’s senior executive VP, chief financial and administrative officer and treasurer until April 24, 2023, and will remain with the company as its chief administrative officer until his retirement on May 9, 2023, to assist with the transition.

    “Kerry [Jackson] has helped Shoe Carnival accomplish numerous significant milestones, including our initial public offering in 1993, exceeding the $1 billion annual sales mark in fiscal 2016 and completing our first acquisition in the company’s history in 2021,” said Worden. “We deeply appreciate his contributions and wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”

    As of March 16, 2023, Shoe Carnival operates 397 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico under its Shoe Carnival and Shoe Station banners.

  • 3/14/2023

    Chipotle exec joins C-suite at McDonald’s USA

    Tabassum Zalotrawala

    McDonald’s has added a new executive to its U.S. senior leadership team.

    Tabassum Zalotrawala has been appointed senior VP and U.S. chief development officer, effective Monday, April 24.  She will report directly to Joe Erlinger, president, McDonald’s USA.

    “This role has been purposefully elevated to the U.S. SLT as we prioritize development as part of our Accelerating the Arches strategy,” said Erlinger. “Having spent the past five years investing our capital and energy in modernizing our business, we've earned the right to build new restaurants and set aggressive goals, and Tabassum is the right leader to advance our ambitions. “

    Most recently, Zalotrawala served as chief development officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill where she led global execution of real estate, with one of her projects named one of 'The Most Innovative Projects of 2020' by Fast Company. While at Chipotle, Zalotrawala led the chain’s new restaurant growth of 750 units since 2019.

    Prior to joining Chipotle in 2018, she held several leadership positions focused on real estate, design, and construction at Panda Restaurant Group and Arby's Restaurant Group. 

    Earlier this year, McDonald’s said it is planning to open 1,900 new locations in 2023, including 400 new units in the United States.

    “Tabassum is a values-based leader and is committed to growing the business while providing opportunities for the betterment of people, customers, and communities,” said Erlinger. “On behalf of the entire U.S. Senior Leadership Team, I am confident that Tabassum's leadership will elevate our position as a leading brand and enable McDonald's to serve more customers than ever before. With our sustained success over the past several years, there is still much work to be done. Now is the time to take this important next step.”

    McDonald's operates approximately 13,500 U.S. restaurants.

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