C-SUITE

Former execs from GameStop, L Brands join Tailored Brands

BY Marianne Wilson

Two experienced retail executives have joined the management team of the parent company of such brands as Men's Wearhouse and Jos.A. Bank.

Tailored Brands named Frank Hamlin as executive VP and chief marketing officer. He most recently served as chief marketing officer of GameStop Corp. where he oversaw the brand portfolio, loyalty, CRM and global omnichannel marketing strategy spanning over 7,400 stores and 40 million loyalty program members. Hamlin also was executive VP and general manager of marketing and e-commerce for Guitar Center,

In other appointments, Tailored Brands named Boris Sherman as executive VP and chief technology officer. He was most recently with L Brands, where he served as senior VP of omnichannel technology and oversaw all customer-facing digital, store, credit and call center technologies for the L Brands portfolio, which includes Victoria's Secret. Prior to L Brands, Sherman was VP, information technology for OfficeMax.

"We are very excited to welcome Frank and Boris to Tailored Brands," said Doug Ewert, CEO, Tailored Brands. "Frank brings us deep digital marketing expertise with proven ability to drive traffic, increase brand engagement and enhance customer loyalty programs. Boris is a strategic leader with more than 20 years of experience driving customer facing technologies that deliver business value. These executives have the leadership and technical expertise to help us achieve our vision of delivering the best omnichannel experience for men who want to look and feel their best."

Tailored Brands operates over 1,600 locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as branded e-commerce websites. Its brands include Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Joseph Abboud, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G.

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C-SUITE

Former NRF exec joins Aptos as retail strategist

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Aptos has tapped an industry veteran to assist retailers on their transformation journeys.

The retail technology solution provider has named Vicki Cantrell as its retail transformation officer. In this newly created position, she will oversee Aptos functions for business consulting and strategy, value engineering, and strategic account management. Cantrell will also leverage her retail background to advise and support Aptos customers as they reinvent their businesses for omnichannel growth, profitability and customer loyalty.

She will also serve on the company’s executive leadership team, reporting to Aptos CEO and culture leader Noel Goggin.

“I am thrilled to join Aptos at a critical act-now or regret-it moment in retail,” said Cantrell.

“Everybody’s talking about transformation, and the reality is, there is no one blueprint to achieve it, and there are different recipes for success. What works for one retailer might not work for another,” she said. “In my role, I will partner with retailers on their transformation journey, and change the way we work together. By deepening our collaboration with customers, we will empower each retailer to achieve its strategic vision while building lasting relationships with its customers.”

Most recently, Cantrell served as NRF’s senior VP, communities, and executive director, Shop.org. In that role, she was responsible for providing strategic direction and management of Shop.org, NRF’s digital retail division.

Previous to NRF, Cantrell served as COO of Tory Burch, where she focused on the development of process and infrastructure to achieve sustainable growth. Earlier in her career, she also served as CIO of Giorgio Armani Corp., and held positions with Gucci Group, Party City and J.C. Penney.

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FINANCE

Sales slide continues at Barnes & Noble

BY Marianne Wilson

Barnes & Noble reduced its loss in its first quarter due to cost savings even as its sales continued to fall.

The company reported a net loss of $10.8 million for the quarter ended July 29, or 15 cents per share, compared to a loss of $14.4 million, or cents per share, for the year-ago period. Analysts had expected a loss of 12 cents a share.

"Our first quarter earnings results improved over the prior year, as we were able to mitigate the sales decline through expense reductions,” said Demos Parneros, CEO of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “We expect to improve our performance in the back-half of the year, which coupled with our focus on expense reduction, will enable us to achieve EBITDA of $180 million.”

Total sales fell 6.6% to $853 million, compared to analysts' forecasts for $873 million. Same- store sales decreased 4.9%, as declines in non-book categories outpaced improved book trends during the quarter. The company said also experienced lower online and Nook sales during the quarter, which were impacted by the prior year eBook settlement and lower promotional activity. Nook sales fell 28.1% in the quarter.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, commented that Nook's losses are a drag on the company resources, and it is time for the Barnes & Noble to scrap Nook and focus on developing a better online platform and apps to support its business.

"The company hails the [NOOK] ecosystem as an important component of its omnichannel strategy, but the fact the business is shrinking by so much demonstrates it is a very ineffective platform," said Saunders.

The analyst also criticized Barnes & Noble stores, especially its older locations, which he called "a hodgepodge of product with seemingly little coordination and thought given to the range of the product mix.

"As much as it is sensible to stock things like toys and games, there are lots of other places that sell these items — often at lower prices," he said. "In essence, B&N needs to refine its non-book offer and work harder to create differentiation.” (Click here for more )

Barnes & Noble operates 632 bookstores in 50 states and an e-commerce site.

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