OPERATIONS

Jo-Ann hires former Disney, JCP exec

BY Staff Writer

Hudson, Ohio — Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has hired former Disney and J.C. Penney’s executive Kris Arabia as VP of product development. Arabia will report to senior VP and chief marketing and merchandising officer Riddianne Kline.

Arabia, who was most recently divisional VP of sourcing for home at J.C. Penney, will oversee the fabric and craft retailer’s design and trend, global sourcing and production and quality control and compliance departments. Additionally, she will assume responsibilities for managing overseas agency relationships.

“Our goal remains the same: deliver quality products to our customers at a great value,” said Kline. “We are thrilled to have Kris, with her tremendous experience in retail sourcing, leading our in-house product development and trend forecasting efforts to help us accomplish that goal.”

Prior to J.C. Penney, Arabia held various sourcing positions with Walt Disney, Pottery Barn, Bath & Body Works and Mikasa. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She, her husband and their four children will be moving to Hudson, Ohio, to the company’s corporate headquarters.

Jo-Ann operates approximately 800 stores across the country.

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OPERATIONS

Golfsmith promotes Eli Getson to executive VP

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — Specialty golf retailer Golfsmith International has promoted Eli Getson to executive VP, general merchandising manager. In his new role, Getson will be responsible for all North American merchandising activity across the company’s U.S. Golfsmith stores, Canadian Golf Town stores and e-commerce channels for both brands.

Following last year’s merger of Golfsmith and Golf Town, which resulted in the creation of Golfsmith International, Getson led the successful integration of the company’s merchandising function. A single merchandising team based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Austin is responsible for executing merchandising strategies that deliver on customer needs, supporting the interests of key business partners and strengthening the Golfsmith and Golf Town brands.

"When customers walk into one of our stores or shop online with us, they expect an unrivaled product selection of the best brands in golf," said Sue Gove, president and CEO, Golfsmith International. "Eli’s role leading North American Merchandising is to apply this differentiator across our business. His ability to build trusted relationships with vendor partners, and his passion for golf, will drive creative merchandising solutions that set the standard in golf retail."

"I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to step into this expanded role," said Getson. "Our world-class team of merchants is committed to helping customers improve their games with the latest equipment, look and feel their best on the course, and have more fun while playing golf."

Prior to joining Golfsmith in 2010 as senior VP, general merchandising manager, Getson held a variety of senior leadership positions with leading brands including Cabela’s, Perry Ellis, Polo Ralph Lauren and The Bon Ton Stores.

Golfsmith International operates Golfsmith stores in the U.S. and Golf Town stores in Canada. The business operates as an integrated, multi-channel retailer, with more than 150 experiential retail locations as well as on www.golfsmith.com and www.golftown.com. The specialty golf retailer offers a selection of premier branded golf equipment as well as its proprietary products, club-making components and pre-owned clubs.

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Charlotte Russe optimizes mobile shopping experience

BY Vivian Lee

San Francisco — Mobile solutions provider Moovweb has added fashion retailer Charlotte Russe to its list of customers using its cloud-based experience platform.

Charlotte Russe, which operates more than 500 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, has a customer demographic focused on 18-25-year-old females. The retailer saw a dramatic spike in mobile-based traffic to its site in the last year. It will work with Moovweb to create a streamlined mobile shopping experience that will give its customers a more efficient way to find, preview and purchase fashions and accessories directly from their smartphones.

“Our customers spend their entire lives on the phone and have embraced mobile in a huge way; she is using her mobile socially in-store, at home and on the go as a replacement for the traditional desktop site,” said Kim Miller, senior VP of e-commerce at Charlotte Russe. “We approached the mobile site project with a simple goal: deliver an amazing customer experience that not only takes full advantage of features from the desktop site our customers are already familiar with, but also allows us to deliver an amazing mobile experience.”

The Moovweb experience platform gives businesses the capability of going mobile by unifying their Web and mobile development. Using Moovweb’s site virtualization and transformation technology, a business’s mobile sites and apps inherit and stay in sync with a desktop site’s content, features and business logic. The approach allows businesses to have their mobile capabilities up and running in a matter of days, rather than in months.

“Businesses are facing daunting technology choices as they move to take advantage of the mobile revolution and global brands are recognizing that old development approaches simply aren’t working anymore,” said Mitch Bishop, CMO of Moovweb. “Retailers like Charlotte Russe have a huge opportunity to deliver amazing mobile experiences that keep customers coming back for more. Our next generation approach to post-PC development enables companies with a powerful platform for growth.”

Moovweb’s clients include Macy’s, 1-800-FLOWERS.com, Sur la Table, Golfsmith, Vitacost, Kroger, Accenture, Cox Communications, Chico’s and Sharpie.

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