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Stitch Fix taps Macy’s digital chief as CEO

Matt Baer has been appointed CEO of Stitch Fix.
Matt Baer has been appointed CEO of Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix has ended its search for a new chief executive.

The online personal shopping and styling service has appointed Matt Baer as CEO and member of the board, effective June 26.  Stitch Fix founder, interim CEO and executive chairperson Katrina Lake will work closely with Baer as he transitions into his role and will remain as executive chair.

Baer joins Stitch Fix after serving three years at Macy’s, Inc., most recently as chief customer and digital officer, where he was responsible for the growth and strategic long-term vision of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s digital businesses.

 Prior to Macy’s, Baer was VP, eCommerce at  Walmart, from 2016 to 2020, where he helped lead the transformation and scaling of Walmart's digital business. Before joining Walmart, he founded a digital marketplace, held executive positions at two retail startups and practiced complex commercial litigation. 

In January, Stitch Fix cut 20% of its salaried employees and said it was closing its distribution center in Salt Lake City. It also said that Elizabeth Spaulding had stepped down as CEO, with Lake taking the role on an interim basis while the company searched for a permanent chief. (Spaulding joined Stitch Fix in 2020, and took the reins as CEO in August 2021.)

“When I returned to Stitch Fix as interim CEO in January this year, I was committed to finding an inspiring leader with a track record of excellent execution, passion for our mission and a clear dedication to serving our clients,”said Lake. “As we’ve gotten to know Matt, I, our board of directors and our management team were all impressed by his experience across all areas of retail businesses and his ability to identify the interconnected opportunities to positively impact the experience of our clients in the short term, while inspiring our teams to deliver an impactful vision for the future.”

Baer will have his work cut out for him at Stitch Fix. For its most recent quarter, ended in April, the company’s net loss widened to $65.6 million from $30.9 million in the year-ago quarter and active users fell 11%.  Revenue declined from $516.7 million to $412.1 million. The company attributed the decline to, among other things, heavy discounting by apparel retailers.

During his time at Macy’s, Baer delivered material digital growth (fiscal year 2022 +31% to fiscal year 2019), Stitch Fix said. He also launched or scaled a number of impactful initiatives, including a third-party marketplace, Macy's Media Network, a modern redesign of the retailer’s web site and mobile app, Macy’s Live -- livestream shopping, and more.

“As someone with retail in my DNA, I’ve long admired what Katrina has built with Stitch Fix - fusing AI with stylists to offer the most convenient shopping experience out there today,” said Baer. “People are looking for a better way to look and feel great. Stitch Fix is uniquely positioned to deliver that for them. I look forward to working with the talented team at Stitch Fix and leveraging my years of experience building and scaling retail businesses to deliver a sustained future of profitable growth."

Founded in 2011, Stitch Fix serves around 3.5 million clients and ships thousands of personalized items of apparel every day.The company went public in 2017.

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