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  • 1/23/2024

    Academy taps Sysco veteran to lead supply chain

    Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Academy Sports and Outdoors has named a new supply chain leader.

    The sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer has appointed Robert (Rob) Howell to the role of senior VP and chief supply chain officer, effective in February. He succeeds Sherry Harriman, who recently left Academy to pursue other opportunities.

    Howell joins Academy from wholesale restaurant food distributor giant Sysco Corp., where he spent nearly 20 years in various supply chain, logistics, and merchandising leadership roles. Most recently, he served as chief supply chain strategy officer and led global supply chain strategy and transformation initiatives, including the development of omnichannel capabilities across the supply chain, network strategies for multiple countries, and customized supply chain solutions for large customers.

    Prior to Sysco, Howell held roles at CSC Consulting and Randalls Food Market/Tom Thumb. In his new role at Academy, he will oversee supply chain operations, distribution centers, and domestic & international logistics. He report to Academy president Sam Johnson.

    "Rob is a proven leader with a record of driving strategic initiatives and optimizing operations to achieve supply chain excellence and cost savings, which will be valuable to Academy as we execute on our long-term growth initiative to leverage and scale our supply chain function to enable industry leading growth,” Johnson said.

    Academy operates 282 full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation stores across 18 states.

  • 1/22/2024

    Tilly’s CEO steps down


    The chief executive of Tilly’s has stepped down following a softer than anticipated holiday season. 

    The teen apparel and footwear retailer said that Ed Thomas has retired as president, CEO and a company director.  He has served in the position since October 2014. Prior to that, Thomas; was chief executive of The Wet Seal, from 2014 to 2015, and from 2007 to 2011.

    Earlier this month, Tilly’s cut its fiscal fourth-quarter guidance following a 7.4% decline in total sales and a 9% drop in comparable sales during the holiday season, with store comps down 12.3%.

    “On behalf of the board of directors and everyone at Tillys, I sincerely thank Ed for his many valuable contributions and leadership during his tenure at Tillys, and wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” said Hezy Shaked, co-Founder and executive chairman of the board.

    Shaked has been appointed to serve as Tilly’s interim president and CEO until a successor is in place. 

    “As the company’s co-founder and former president and chief executive officer, Mr. Shaked has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of all facets of the company’s business and has developed extensive professional relationships during his over 40 years of experience in the retail industry, “ Tilly’s said in a company release.

    The companyis headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and currently operates 251 stores across 33 states.



  • 1/17/2024

    Walmart upping store managers pay

    Walmart store employees

    Walmart is updating the two parts that make up the pay of its store managers: base pay and annual wages.

    With regard to base pay, the  retail giant said it is simplifying and increasing store manager wages. With this investment and upcoming annual increases, the average salary of the store manager will go from $117,000 to $128,000 a year.

    Walmart is also redesigning its store manager bonus program. In addition to sales, the store’s profit will play a bigger role in calculating the annual bonus. 

    “If you hit all targets, your bonus could now be up to 200% of your base salary,” stated Cedric Clark, executive VP, store operations, Walmart U.S., in a note that was sent to Walmart U.S. store managers.

    “This investment is about belief,” Clark said. “We believe in you. We believe you’re the keepers of our culture today while you’re also helping to identify and grow the future leaders of our company.” 

    Walmart is making the new investment following last year’s increase in starting pay for stores. As a result of the investments in front-line hourly associates and upcoming annual increases, the U.S. average hourly wage at Walmart will soon exceed $18, the company said.

    Clark noted that most Walmart store managers  — approximately 75% of its field management teams — began their careers with the company in the hourly ranks.  Clark himself started as a sporting goods hourly associate in Washington state.

  • 1/16/2024

    Costco reportedly testing membership ID card scanners at store entries

    Costco operates 855 warehouses around the world.

    Costco Wholesale Corp. is reportedly testing a new way to keep non-members out its stores. 

    The wholesale retail giant is scanning Costco membership cards at the entrance of several locations, calling it an effort to improve member experience, reported CNN. 

    "This test is to match members to their cards at the door prior to shopping for an improved member experience," Costco said in a statement to USA Today.

    Membership fees are critical to Costco’s earnings. During its first quarter, ended Nov. 26, 2023, Costco’s membership fees totaled $1.08 billion, up from $1 billion in the year-ago quarter. At the end of the quarter, the retailer had 129.5 million cardholders, up 7.1% from last year.

    Costco’s standard membership fee is $60 per year. An executive membership costs $120 annually. The company, which has not hiked its fees since June 2017, is continually questioned about a possible increase. 

    "I'll use my standby answer, my answer, it's a question of when, not if," CFO Richard Galanti said on the chain’s first-quarter earnings call. "But at this juncture, we feel pretty good about what we're doing."

    Last June, Costco started asking for shoppers' membership cards along with a photo ID at the self-checkouts, a policy which is also in effect at the regular checkouts.

    “We don’t feel it’s right that nonmembers receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” Costco said in a statement as reported by CNN.

  • 1/15/2024

    Dollar General exec joins C-suite at Academy Sports and Outdoors

    Academy Sports + Outdoors


    The sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer retailer named Chad Fox to the newly created role of executive VP and chief customer office, overseeing omnichannel, marketing, customer insights and customer care. He joined Academy in January 2024, and reports directly to CEO Steve Lawrence.

    Fox brings nearly 25 years of retail, agency, and consumer packaged goods marketing experience to Academy. Most recently, he spent five years at Dollar General, where he served as senior VP and chief marketing officer and led the brand strategy, marketing, media and digital teams 

    Prior to joining Dollar General in 2019,  Fox spent 13 years in various executive positions at Walmart, including as VP of retail marketing from 2019 – 2019, where he guided marketing and media activities across all merchandising categories, seasonal events, and digital products and services. 

    "Chad brings a wealth of retail brand strategy, marketing, media, data analytics, and digital experience that Academy will leverage to execute our long-term growth initiatives to attract and engage customers through communications, content and experiences and build a more powerful omnichannel business, while continuing to build Academy's brand awareness as we grow in existing and new markets,” Lawrence stated.

    Academy opened 14 new stores in fiscal 2023.  The company, which currently operates 282 stores across 18 states, plans to continue its expansion efforts with a goal of opening a total of 120 to 140 new stores by the end of 2027.

  • 1/16/2024

    Showfields closes remaining stores

    Showfields has stores in Manhattan and Miami (above).

    A lifestyle retailer that billed itself as operating the “most interesting store in the world” has gone dark.

    Showfields has closed its three remaining stores in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in October, with restructuring under the Small Business Reorganization Act’s Subchapter V, which is designed to help small businesses keep operating, reorganize, and maintain control of their finances without creditors taking control.

    The filing came after Showfields closed its original store in downtown Manhattan as well as its Miami outpost. At the time of the filing, the company had about $3,000 in cash on hand and liabilities that could be as high as $10 million. 

    Showfields did not operate on a wholesale model. Instead,  it featured a rotating selection of emerging, mostly digitally native brands fashion, beauty, wellness and home goods that operate as pop-ups in the store. The brands paid a fee to Showfields depending on the amount of space they took and the number of SKUs displayed.

    In its October filing, Showfields cited the COVID-19 pandemic for the beginning of its troubles.

    "As with most commercial enterprises established almost immediately prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic, the debtor was plagued with lower-than-expected revenue streams from the non-debtor Stores due to low member sales resulting from the national lockdown and gradual reopening of public spaces across the country," the company stated.


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