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Kroger puts former PetSmart exec in sustainability position

BY Allison Cerra

Cincinnati — Kroger announced Tuesday that it has named Suzanne Lindsay as its director of sustainability.

In the newly created position, Lindsay — who previously created and led sustainability initiatives at PetSmart — will lead Kroger’s internal sustainability initiatives and will lead the company’s sustainability leadership team.

"We have made substantial progress in sustainability in the past five years through energy savings, waste reduction, transportation efficiency and by reducing the use of plastic bags," Kroger group VP corporate affairs Lynn Marmer said. "Suzanne will help us accelerate our progress and identify new opportunities to improve our environmental stewardship.”

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J.C. Penney shuffles management team toward transformation

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Plano, Texas — As part of its strategic transformation program, J.C. Penney Co. said Monday that it has made several new hires and promotions at the executive level.

To lead merchandise strategy, Liz Sweney has been promoted to chief merchant and will lead the reinvention of the retailer’s apparel and home portfolio. Sweney most recently served as executive VP and senior general merchandise manager of women’s apparel, accessories, footwear, jewelry and juniors divisions, as well as Sephora inside J.C. Penney.

Sweney in turn promoted Siiri Dougherty to senior VP general merchandise manager of women’s apparel, from divisional merchandise manager for women’s career sportswear; and Liz Asay to senior VP Sephora inside J.C. Penney, from VP in the same division.

J.C. Penney also said it has assembled a new brand-management team, charged with identifying and implementing global brand initiatives. The team consists of Brian Robinson, who has joined the company as VP marketing and design partnerships, arriving from a fashion and design director role at Target; Katheryn Burchett, who was promoted to senior VP merchandising and marketing integration from divisional VP merchandise strategy; Anne Cashill, who has joined the company as senior VP strategic brands, having previously served as VP merchandising for Coach; Bill Gentner, who has been moved to senior VP strategic brands, from senior VP planning and promotion; and Steve Seabolt, appointed senior VP strategic brand alliances, and joining the company from Electronic Arts, where he served as VP global brand partnerships.

To lead the company’s brand makeover, J.C. Penney has named Eric Hunter as senior VP marketing. Company veteran Greg Clark has been promoted to senior VP creative.

Charged with store experience initiatives, Mike Fisher has been appointed senior VP visual presentation, coming to the company from Apple. He will oversee new store experience, including the Street, the Square and the Shops.

“As we fundamentally re-imagine every aspect of our business, we’re tapping into the best internal and external talent in the industry,” said Michael Francis, president, J.C. Penney. “We’re focused on building a world-class organization that will be instrumental in delivering a revolutionary shopping experience that is unlike anything that exists in retail today. We will continue to look both internally and externally as we build an organization to accomplish this goal.”

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Survey: Most tablet owners use mobile devices to shop

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — A survey released Monday by PriceGrabber said that 77% of consumers who own a tablet computer use either a tablet or a smartphone to shop.

The survey includes responses from 1,829 U.S. online shopping consumers, 22% of whom indicated that they own a tablet computer.

When consumers who use their mobile devices for shopping were asked how often they make purchases from their mobile devices, 40% said a couple times a month, 23% said once a week, 20% said a few times a year, and 10% said daily.

"PriceGrabber continues to see a dramatic surge in mobile shopping, with more consumers making purchases from their mobile devices," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "With the use of smartphones and tablet computers becoming increasingly common, consumers appear to be more readily embracing mobile as a go-to platform for shopping that can be easily accessed anywhere, anytime."

When tablet owners were asked if they had downloaded apps onto their mobile devices, 84% indicated that they had done so. PriceGrabber’s survey found that on average, these consumers currently have 39 apps on their mobile devices, seven of which are shopping-related.

"Consumers are becoming savvier and approaching mobile shopping from every angle by downloading not just one, but a variety of shopping-related apps that can offer them everything from price drops to bar code scanning to coupons," added Jones.

He added that PriceGrabber expects mobile shopping to be game-changing as consumers increasingly enact various strategies to find the best prices and retailers inevitably expand their mobile presence.

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