Executive Shuffle at Chico’s
Fort Meyers, Fla., Chico’s FAS has promoted executive VP of operations, Charles L. Nesbit Jr., to COO. Nesbit, who will now hold both titles, will oversee company operations and focus on logistics and supply chain functions, outlet store operations, strategic planning and business development. Charles J. Kleman, who has maintained the dual role of CFO and COO since November 2003, will refocus on his position as CFO. Separately, Chico’s said that James P. Frain, executive VP and chief marketing officer, will resign in 2006. Frain will remain in his current role until Feb. 28, 2006, and will help choose his successor. He plans to consult for Chico’s for up to six months. The company said it has begun a search for a new senior marketing officer.
Supermarkets Cut Back on Discounts
New York City, Some supermarkets are cutting back on promotional discounts and are starting to offer everyday low prices like Wal-Mart and other discounters. Traditionally, grocery stores have weekly specials to attract consumers and keep their non-sale items at higher prices. Last year, however, traditional supermarkets controlled only 52% of U.S. grocery sales. Ten years ago, traditional grocery stores controlled 81% of sales. With the increase in discount suppliers, traditional grocery stores have had to compete with pricing.
Companies such as Safeway and Albertson’s still use sales to attract shoppers, but are increasingly closing the gap between everyday and sale prices. Grocery store companies believe shoppers today are busy and not as willing to search for good deals as they were in the past.
Boscov’s Looks to Expand
Reading, Pa., Boscov’s could benefit from Federated Department Stores Inc.’s takeover of May Department Stores Co. Federated is planning to sell some stores in malls that already have a Macy’s. Boscov’s is planning on buying Strawbridge’s locations in malls where Macy’s already exists.
Currently, Boscov’s has stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland, and one under construction in Virginia. Adding some of the eight Strawbridge’s locations would help the company grow more quickly. According to John Hlis, senior VP for real estate and development, Boscov’s has not yet begun negotiations with Federated. Hlis said, however, “We will aggressively pursue this.”