OPERATIONS

CNBC to air documentary on Mickey Drexler

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J. Crew CEO Milliard “Mickey” Drexler is the subject of a CNBC documentary that will premier Thursday, May 24 at 10 p.m., ET, with a re-air at 1 a.m., ET.

Entitled “J Crew & The Man Who Dressed America,” the hour-long program follows Drexler at work and at home, from his house in the Hamptons to a tour of the J. Crew store in Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus, N.J., to fabric mills in Italy. It highlights the legendary retailer’s intense involvement in the company on everything from the big picture (opening stores overseas) to such small details as the type of buttons that should be on a men’s shirt.

The show charts the upward trajectory of Drexer’s life and career, from his childhood in the Bronx (he grew up in a one-bedroom apartment) to his rise in retail, starting with Ann Taylor and moving on to Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and eventually Gap Inc.

As to Drexler’s success at J. Crew, the numbers tell the story: Since he took the helm as CEO in 2003, the company’s revenues have risen 170% to near $1.9 billion in 2011.

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Notable Retail Quotes From RECon

BY Marianne Wilson

I’m just back from the retail real estate industry’s annual confab, the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, in Las Vegas. As part of the event, Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, Prudential Douglas Elliman, hosted a panel discussion of retailers at the Women’s Special Industry Group meeting. Here are some of the more notable quotes from the discussion:

– Brenda Godfrey, VP global store development, Starbucks Coffee Co.
“We are renovating over 1,700 stores and making a significant investment in our existing store fleet.”

Speaking about Starbucks recently-opened Evolution Fresh juice bar: “We’re very pleased with the results. Based on its performance, we will be looking at future opportunities in other markets.”

With reference to Starbucks’ new small, 500-sq.-ft. store model: “With no seating, it’s a quick, in-and-out experience for our customers. So a smaller footprint, smaller rents, smaller build out costs. It’s a model that we can use as an infill strategy. ”

– David Chiovetti, senior VP North America retail/consumer direct, True Religion Brand Jeans
“Retail in Canada is underpenetrated in terms of shopping centers for us. Canada is a big opportunity for us.”

– Kitsy Ritter, director of real estate, Gap Inc.
“The days of asking landlords for rent reductions have really slowed.”

“We have 12 Athleta stores and they are performing very, very well. That number will double by the end of this year, with 50 by the end of next year.

“The Piperlime store will be a pilot for us to see how it does in brick-and-mortar.”

Mark Comstock, VP real estate, Sur La Table
“The greatest challenge in retail is [finding] good people.”

“We will grow at about 10% net (store count) for the next few years.”


More As I See It entries.

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Hy-Vee names new chairman and CEO

BY CSA STAFF

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Randy Edeker, has been named chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee. Edeker will be only the fourth person in the company’s 82-year history to be elected to this position. He will succeed Ric Jurgens, who is retiring June 1 following a 43-year caeer with the company.

Edeker most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer, and will now hold the offices of chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee.

"I have been truly blessed to be allowed to assume this role, leading the most incredible group of dedicated, hard-working people," Edeker said. "I am both honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of Hy-Vee’s great leaders, including the man who has caringly mentored me for the past eight years, Ric Jurgens.

"We will remain diligent in upholding the core values our founders set forth for us and delivering great service, great value and a helpful smile."

Edeker, a 30-year veteran of Hy-Vee, has held positions at every level of the company during his career. He joined Hy-Vee as a part-time employee at the Chariton store and quickly moved up through the ranks, working at retail stores in four states before getting his first store director assignment at Columbus, NE in 1993. After just a year at the helm there, he was selected by his peers for induction to the Hy-Vee Hall of Fame as "Store Manager of the Year" – the first of his three Hall of Fame awards.

In 1995 Edeker was promoted to Hy-Vee’s corporate staff, serving as a director of operations overseeing stores in two different geographic regions. In 2004 he was elected VP marketing for the company; he moved up to SVP retail operations in 2006, and in 2008 he became EVP, COO. Stockholders elected Edeker to succeed Jurgens as president of Hy-Vee in 2009.

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