OPERATIONS

Apple, Costco and Container Store top ‘100 Best Retailers to Work For’ list

BY Marianne Wilson

Raleigh, N.C. — Apple, Costco and The Container Store top the “2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For” list compiled by The Retail Life online retail community, which was developed by Headway Workforce Solutions. DSW and American Eagle outfitters round out the top five.

The list, derived from The Retail Life members, was based on a variety of criteria, such as: competitive salaries, employee reviews, company pride, organizational values and culture, socialization opportunities, and career advancement opportunities.

The 2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For include the following top 10 retailers:

  1. Apple
  2. Costco
  3. The Container Store

  4. DSW
  5. American Eagle Outfitters
  6. Coach

  7. REI

  8. Nordstrom

  9. Starbucks

  10. Ann Taylor/Loft

The Retail Life, a member-based, community, serves retail workers and job seekers. For a complete list of its 2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For, visit Theretaillife.com/page/best-100-retailers.

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Study: Collaboration between CIO and other c-suite execs crucial to success

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Strong partnerships between the top information officer and others on the leadership team are crucial to success. According to a study by PwC US, companies with strong, collaborative relationships between the CIO and other C-suite executives are four times as likely to be top performing companies as those with fragmented relationships.

PwC’s fifth annual Digital IQ survey found that a strong “Digital IQ” — defined as a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology and weave it into the fabric of their organization — entails more than adopting the latest tools or having a large IT budget. It is about consistently linking IT investments to business strategy to improve speed, agility and competitive advantage. It is about integrating ‘digital conversations’ into every aspect of the business.

Digital IQ is about the CIO orchestrating rather than owning conversations,” said Chris Curran, a PwC principal and chief technologist for the US firm’s advisory practice. “Social media, mobile channels and data analytics, along with the cloud, are making new business and operating models possible. Because enterprise responsibility lives across the C-suite for these issues, collaborative digital conversations are critical to bring it all together and evaluate and adopt these technologies.”

The survey findings show companies with strong, collaborative C-suite relationships act differently and think together from strategy through execution.

Among their traits, they:

  • Have a single multi-year roadmap for the business strategy, and an explicit process to link the business strategy to the IT roadmap;
  • Are more aggressive in IT capital spending to support strategic corporate initiatives, such as new geographic markets, new product and service development, M&A, joint ventures and strategic alliances;
  • Have more aggressive investment in emerging technologies including: mobile, social, big data and cloud;
  • More likely have everything on a mobile platform;
  • Are more aggressive in leveraging mobile and social technologies for employees and customers;
  • Often have more explicit approaches to organize, manage — and measure — innovation; and
  • Recognize differences in IT needs, e.g. among different generations of employees.

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Claire’s names Sam’s Club merchandising chief as president

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Claire’s Stores announced Tuesday that Sam’s Club EVP and chief merchandising officer Linda Hefner Filler has been named president of Claire’s North America, effective March 1.

Filler will report to CEO Jim Fielding and will be charged with implementing operational and strategic initiatives for Claire’s in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Filler has served in several senior capacities for Wal-Mart Stores, having been EVP and general manager of the Wal-Mart Home Division prior to her position with Sam’s Club.

Claire’s also announced that Holly Cohen joined the company in January as SVP, global real estate and construction. She previously served in the same role for J. Crew.

Peter Collyer will join the company from the Walt Disney Co. consumer products division in mid-February as SVP global human resources.

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