OPERATIONS

Best Buy in management shuffle

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Best Buy announced that Shari Ballard and Mike Vitelli, who had both been president of Best Buy’s domestic business, will take on separate jobs, effective immediately. The retailer, which posted disappointing holiday results, said it was undertaking the changes to accelerate its strategy by aligning the company’s senior operating talent with its highest priorities.

Ballard, who joined Best Buy in 1993 as an assistant store manager, was named president of the international business, which includes stakes in China, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Vitelli, who joined Best Buy in 2004 after 23 years at Sony Electronics, will continue to lead the U.S. business.

Commenting on the change, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said: “The focus, energy and drive of these two leaders will serve us well as we accelerate the pace of our company’s transformation, work to provide more compelling multi-channel experiences for our customers and employees around the world and improve returns for our shareholders.”

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News

Abercrombie & Fitch taps IBM to expand online business

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM announced that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is working with IBM software to help the company transform its online business to achieve greater speed and efficiency. The initiative is part of Abercombie’s strategic goal to expand its direct-to-consumer capabilities and drive its e-commerce business to $1 billion.

"Abercrombie & Fitch Co., and its portfolio of brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co, Abercrombie kids, and Gilly Hicks, is growing its e-commerce and cross-channel operation dramatically in the coming years. We require a world-class solution that will scale over time, bolster international expansion, and support cross-channel commerce. IBM’s e-commerce and order management solutions meet our requirements for infrastructure, scalability, and future growth," said John Deane, senior VP and CIO at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Abercrombie & Fitch is using IBM’s WebSphere commerce platform for its branded storefronts, both domestically and internationally. The company is adding IBM order management software, which includes call center functions for accessing and updating customer orders, to provide the retailer with the operational foundation it needs to move toward providing seamless, integrated cross-channel solutions.

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REAL ESTATE

Aaron’s appoints VP real estate and construction

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Aaron’s announced that Jeannie M. Cave has been hired as the company’s new VP real estate and construction. She will be responsible for a number of activities including the development of strategies that support Aaron’s real estate goals and the management of the company’s real estate portfolio for both company-operated and franchised stores.

Cave brings 10 years of leadership experience from Cox Enterprises.

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