OPERATIONS

Charming Charlie makes executive appointments; 60 stores on tap for 2012

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Specialty retailer Charming Charlie announced the appointment of four retail executives as part of the ongoing development of the company’s internal structure and another step in its ongoing national expansion, including the opening of 60 retail locations in 2012.

Judi Langley was named executive VP and chief merchandising officer, and will be responsible for leading the product direction and merchandising strategies for Charming Charlie. In earlier roles, Langley was senior VP design and trend at Kohl’s for its private brands and has held senior positions at Ann Taylor, Gap and Victoria’s Secret.

John Hnanicek has joined the chain as senior VP and CIO, where he is tasked to build a scalable technology infrastructure that will enable Charming Charlie to rapidly innovate. Prior to this new role, Hnanicek’s career has mostly been in high growth retail and e-commerce concepts with brands including OfficeMax, Hollywood Video and eToys.

Melissa Whitehead joins the team as senior VP store operations. She most recently served as senior VP sales and operations at Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance.

Robin Beighley joins Charming Charlie as store operations director. She most recently served as director of store process and systems operations at The Walt Disney Co. and prior to that as store operations director for Victoria’s Secret.

Since launching in 2004, Charming Charlie has grown to 182 stores in 33 states.

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OPERATIONS

Express launches new loyalty program; customers can earn points by tweeting

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Express announced the launch of Express Next, a new points-based loyalty program open to all Express customers throughout the United States. It replaces the previous loyalty program that was only available to Express Credit Card holders, and is designed to meet the Express shopper’s habits both in-store and online, as well as reward brand interaction via social media.

“Express Next is a natural evolution of our loyalty program and aligned with how our customers shop and connect with our brand today," said Jim Wright, senior VP marketing, Express.

With the new program, points are earned both in-store and online at express.com. Express Next shoppers can accumulate additional rewards points as they visit different Express store locations and engage with the brand via social media platforms. This way, points are not only earned when she buys her favorite pair of Editor pants, but also by posts, about a particular shirt, for example, on Twitter.

"Our customer engages with us on many different levels," added Wright, "and we are now able to encourage even greater engagement and reward our customers for these deeper relationships."

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OPERATIONS

Target names marketing head

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Target Corp. on Monday named Jeffrey Jones as executive VP and chief marketing officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Michael Francis who left the company in October to join J.C. Penney.

Jones, 44, most recently served as partner and president of McKinney, a Durham, North Carolina-based advertising agency. Prior to that, he held several leadership positions at Gap, including serving as executive VP and chief marketing officer where he was responsible for leading marketing strategy, retail store design, store experience and all consumer communication.

“Not only does Jeff have a proven track record of success in both the development and execution of countless marketing campaigns but Jeff is also a passionate, dedicated leader who understands the importance of working as a team,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target. “Marketing is a key differentiator for Target and I am confident that under Jeff’s stewardship, we will continue to build on our long history of surprising and delighting our guests.”

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