OPERATIONS

Fomer Sports Authority president joins Hilco Trading division

BY Staff Writer

New York — Dick Lynch has joined the SD Retail Consulting division of Hilco Trading as SVP merchandising and strategy.

In his new role, Lynch will be responsible for helping retailers create shareholder value through process, organization and technology enhancements in the key merchandising and inventory management functions. He will also play a key role in assisting management, owners and lenders in shareholder value creation assignments.

Most recently, Lynch served as a senior retail advisor for the past 10 year at Karabus Management. He also served as president and COO of The Sports Authority, interim CEO of Sur La Table, president of Paperchase U.S., and CEO at Hechinger following the company’s bankruptcy. Lynch will be rejoining Antony Karabus who serves as president of SD Retail Consulting.

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Predictix appoints new EVP and chief scientist

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Supply chain solutions company Predictix has appointed Ronald P. Menich, Ph.D., as its new EVP and chief scientist.

Predictix provides retailers and brands with platforms and tools that enable them to drive competitive advantage and market differentiation.

Menich is one of the foremost innovators in predictive analytics for Fortune 500 enterprises. He previously served as chief scientist of pricing and revenue management at JDA, where he was the conceptual designer of many of the core modules in JDA’s pricing and revenue management suite.

Menich has 18 years of experience in demand forecasting, optimization and large-scale recommendation processing systems. He has experience leading a science team and designing advanced software solutions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in operations research and a doctoral degree in industrial and systems engineering, the latter two from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

"I’m thrilled at the opportunity to lead the highly talented science team at Predictix," said Menich. "Predictix’ unique approach to predictive analytics, Big Data and cloud-based architecture makes it one of the most exciting and dynamic providers of planning, merchandising and supply chain solutions today. Predictix is fully committed to its next-generation retail science platform, and I am looking forward to working with our team and top-tier retail customers."

Predictix also announced that Loren Williams, former Predictix EVP and chief scientist, is joining Ernst & Young LLP as executive director, advisory services practice, where he will fulfill a longtime goal to move into a consulting role in E&Y’s Analytics Center of Excellence.

Menich’s appointment ensures a seamless transition in the leadership of Predictix’s science team. “Ron and I worked closely together at Aeronomics, Talus Solutions and Manugistics,” said Williams. "I’ve known him for many years, and he is the ideal person to bring on board at Predictix as my replacement. Ron has an impeccable track record in solving complex business problems, and I have complete faith in his ability to lead the Predictix science team."

"Ron Menich is an extraordinarily gifted scientist and leader, and Predictix is excited to welcome him to our executive team," said John Simon, CEO, Predictix. “I look forward to seeing Ron continue to lead the development of our world-leading science capabilities for the benefit of our customers.”

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Another signs of soft sales in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Target may not cater to exactly the same shopper as Walmart, but there is enough overlap between the two companies to know that reports of weakness out of Minneapolis are never a good sign in Bentonville.

Walmart was already expecting same store sales for its first quarter to be flat following a slow start in February and a challenging comparison against a prior year increase of 2.6%. Walmart is due to report first quarter results on May 16 and the prospect of a negative comp performance at its U.S. stores division appears real following recent weakness at Target and Family Dollar.

Target this week lowered its first quarter expectations and said it believes first quarter comps will be flat, after previously forecasting a range of flat to 2% growth. The softer than expected sales also caused the company to revise its first quarter adjusted profit expectations to an unspecified level of "slightly below" earlier guidance of $1.10 to $1.20.

The sales weakness was characterized as softer than expected, but it was hardly surprising considering Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel along with Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon expressed reservations about the strength of the economy back in February.

More recently, Family Dollar reported what for it was a puny comp increase of 2.9% for its second quarter ended March 2. It is conceivable that Walmart contributed to weakness at Target and Family Dollar, but a more likely explanation is it too has experienced the effects of reduced consumer spending the extent of which will be evident a month from now.

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