OPERATIONS

Bebe appoints merchandising exec for 2b outlet brand

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Bebe stores announced Wednesday the appointment of Michelle Landgrebe as EVP, general merchandising manager of its 2b division, effective immediately.

In her new role, Landgrebe will be responsible for merchandising, design, production, planning & allocation, and visual merchandising for the Bebe’s outlet division, b2.

She most recently served as VP, general merchandising manager at VF Corp.

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SymphonyIRI reverts to original name in rebranding move

BY CSA STAFF

SymphonyIRI Group president and CEO Andrew Appel announced this week that the company will revert to its original name, Information Resources, or IRI, as part of a rebranding strategy.

“Our rebranding signifies our promise to continue providing ingenious solutions and capabilities for our clients to enable growth in a highly fragmented, competitive and complex market,” Appel said “We are well positioned to be the catalyst that enables CPG and retail companies to take advantage of new opportunities.”

As the company positions itself to move forward, it goes back to its old name roughly three years after unveiling the name SymphonyIRI Group at its Summit meeting in San Antonio, and roughly one year after Appel joined the company as CEO.

The Symphony name was originally adopted as a nod to the private equity firm Symphony Technology Group, which owned IRI, but the name change never took hold and most in the retail and CPG world continued referring to the company by its familiar acronym. In June 2011, Symphony Technology Group sold its majority stake in IRI to New Mountain Capital.

Appel said he had met with more than 500 CPG and retail executives to discuss how IRI could help move their companies forward. Focusing on activating and accelerating growth across sales and marketing was a theme he said he heard repeatedly.

“IRI has a rich heritage of innovation and going beyond the data, leveraging advanced analytics and enabling technologies to help our clients excel and win,” adds Appel. “We have the leadership, the people, the unique assets and the distinctive capabilities to deliver on our new strategy and make a real difference for clients. We’re taking the best of what we’ve been boldly forward.”

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Ikea president to keynote Retail Sustainability Conference

BY CSA STAFF

President of Ikea USA Mike Ward is scheduled to keynote this year’s Retail Sustainability Conference, which will run from Monday, Sept. 30 to Thursday, Oct. 3 in Orlando, Fla.

Ward will discuss, in part, how Ikea plans to use sustainability to drive innovation and shape investments. Ikea is no stranger to sustainability. Globally, Ikea evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.

This week, the company plugged in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md. The 768,972-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array.

Ward will also address Ikea’s latest sustainability strategy, dubbed "People & Planet Positive."

RILA’s Retail Sustainability Conference is the only event of its kind that brings together sustainability executives in marketing and communications, real estate and facilities, merchandising and sourcing and compliance to discuss sustainability challenges and strategies.

Last year, more than 400 retail and product manufacturer executives, along with innovative solution providers, participated in the Retail Sustainability Conference.

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