Skip to main content



Female executives take leading roles in retail IT arena

If a “leader” is someone who knows how to take charge, achieve goals and inspire others along the way — even in the most trying of circumstances — then the women featured in this special section are leaders in every sense of the word. They have toiled and proved their mettle — and smarts — in a field that traditionally has not been all that female-friendly: technology.

The good news, however, is that the tide seems to be turning. Women are not only increasing their participation in retail technology, but taking on leadership roles. And they are doing it at a time when technology is revolutionizing every single facet of the retail and customer experience.

For the second year, CSA has selected 10 female retail technology executives (listed in no particular order) who exemplify the passion, innovation and leadership needed to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive and fast-changing retail environment. They all share a record of success that is worthy of emulation by all their peers.

Stacey Renfro

Senior VP e-commerce, Pier 1 Imports

Stacey Renfro has been driving online growth at Pier 1 Imports since she was tapped as VP e-commerce in 2013. Under her leadership, the home decor and furniture retailer’s e-commerce revenue has grown from $30 million to more than $275 million, resulting in her promotion to senior VP e-commerce in April 2015.

Renfro heads up the e-commerce and customer relations teams at Pier 1 and partners closely with the stores’ organization to drive e-commerce growth rates that are among the highest in the industry. Total e-commerce sales represented 4% of total revenue in 2013, and had grown to represent more than 15% as of the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Currently, Renfro and her team are focused on the company’s “1 Pier 1” omnichannel initiative, which aims to create one cohesive experience for the company’s physical and e-commerce channels. To date, the retailer has relaunched its website to incorporate responsive design, best-in-class navigation, geolocation and personalized recommendations, as well as re-architected the site with server-side enhancements and an easy-to-use mobile offering.

“Having a well-rounded background rooted in a passion for retail is critical in maximizing your impact,” advised Renfro, who, prior to joining Pier 1, was DVP digital commerce at J.C. Penney. “Possessing these traits will give you the flexibility to lead any organization within a retailer ... not just technology.”

Kateshia Hunter

Director of integrated retail, Sears Holding Corp.

Kateshia Hunter has more than 15 years experience in solving problems and executing operational excellence initiatives to streamline systems, processes and human capital — while also improving efficiency and productivity. Before joining Sears in 2011, she worked for other Fortune 500 companies, including Target and Ford Motor Company.

As director of integrated retail at Sears, Hunter works with leaders across the company, driving innovative digital experiences in Sears and Kmart stores. Currently, she manages and runs all aspects of Sears’ electronic shelf label (ESL) implementation in multiple departments in more than 500 stores.

The ambitious ESL initiative has delivered ROI in 18 to 24 months, with Sears seeing positive margins in the stores and departments where the system has been deployed.

Hunter is also overseeing the migration of home appliance and shoe departments in 150 Sears stores to the next-generation of ESL display technology, which features sharper, brighter three-color displays.

Hundreds of additional departments are planning for upgrades in 2016.

Keri Stelle

Director of technology systems, Target Corp.

During her 18 years with Target Corp., Keri Stelle has supported, developed, and implemented a host of business goals and IT strategies. Her most notable accomplishments include helping automate distribution center operations and, most recently, leading the implementation of Target’s SAP and finance platforms, which handle more than $70 billion of revenue for the enterprise.

In addition, Stelle has overseen the transformation of a 150-plus-member global IT organization to an “Agile” development model, which allows teams of experts to collaboratively and simultaneously develop different areas of a project. She also introduced open source Java software into Target’s finance technology arena, which manages millions of annual transactions. And she enabled Target’s sales audit systems to track omnichannel sales with a unified platform.

Stelle is an active supporter of women’s professional growth in retail technology. She serves as the co-chair of Target’s Women’s Business Council, with an emphasis on recruiting and retaining women in technology.

Diane Randolph

CIO, Ulta Beauty

As CIO of Ulta Beauty, Diane Randolph is responsible for creating and evolving the fast-growing retailer’s IT strategy. This includes not only building and maintaining a long-term road map, but also augmenting and nurturing talent and fostering innovation.

Recent accomplishments include delivering the store operations team such important tools as mobile inventory management capability, and iPads for mobile workforce management and business intelligence reporting. Randolph has also been busy on the consumer side, where she oversaw the release of improved Ulta mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, including Apple Watch.

Projects that will garner her attention in 2016 include opening Ulta’s fifth distribution center (in Dallas), as well as rolling out improved forecasting capabilities for all categories and a new product information management solution.

“Remember to embrace the elements that make women uniquely suited to 21st-century leadership challenges,” Randolph advised other women retail IT executives. “Our nurturing capabilities enable us to forge collaborative relationships with our business partners and our teams.”

Amy Stanberry

VP enterprise systems and strategy, Gap Inc.

In her 15-plus-year career at Gap Inc., Amy Stanberry has provided IT services and support across a wide range of functions, including supply chain, merchandising, product development, inventory and store systems.

In her current role as VP enterprise systems and strategy, Stanberry is responsible for project delivery and end-to-end support for the core retail, finance, HR, real estate, marketing and collaboration platforms across the specialty chain. Additionally, she oversees Gap’s IT investment strategy.

Prior to assuming her current role in 2010, Stanberry served as CIO for the company’s Banana Republic division, developing and executing the chain’s technology capability road map.

Stanberry’s notable projects in the past year include delivering EMV compliance for the Gap division, as well as overseeing the launch of the Old Navy banner into Mexico and upgrading the company’s Oracle Retail platform.

“Women in retail IT must constantly learn and evolve to stay relevant and aligned with both their internal business partners and external customers,” said S

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds