C-SUITE

Leslie’s Poolmart CEO to retire

BY Marianne Wilson

The chief executive of the nation's largest specialty retailer of swimming pool and spa supplies and related products is stepping down.

Leslie's announced that chairman and CEO Lawrence Hayward will be retiring and transitioning from his role as CEO, effective September 30, 2017. He will continue to serve as chairman.

As part of the company's long-term succession plan, Steven L. Ortega, president and COO will succeed Hayward and assume the additional role of CEO, effective October 1, 2017.

Ortega joined Leslie's as CFO in 2005 and has served in his present role since 2015. His career spans 35 years in the retail industry which included a 16-year career at American Stores Company and seven years as executive VP and CFO of BI-LO Supermarkets.

Leslie's markets its products through over 900 retail store and commercial service locations in 35 states, a nationwide mail-order catalog and several internet e-commerce sites, including In The Swim. It is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Dyson to set up shop in the U.S.

BY Marianne Wilson

The British brand best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and, most recently, high-tech hair-dryers is expanding its fledgling retail portfolio.

Dyson Ltd. will open a "Dyson Demo" store this fall at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. Also in the works: a store at 640 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and one in San Francisco's Union Square.

Dyson has been exploring different ways to allow consumers to see, and interact with, its growing line-up of products. In August, it launched a partnership with Best Buy, opening in-store shops in some 90 Best Buy stores.

In July 2016, Dyson debuted its Dyson Demo freestanding store concept in London. The sleek, futuristic-looking space, on Oxford Street, is designed to allow shoppers to see and test Dyson’s complete line of products. It also has 64 different dust/dirt samples and four floor surfaces available on which customers can to test vacuum cleaners. The store features a salon-like area where shoppers can have their hair dried and styled with the company’s latest invention: the “Supersonic” hairdryer.

“We think it’s important that people can experience our technology, can see and understand the inside of our technology,” Dyson CEO Max Conze told The Telegraph. “Our products have to be so good that if you try it you intuitively understand it.”

Click here to see photos of the London store.

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C.Smith says:
Sep-01-2017 03:29 pm

Toronto in Canada
Just want to point out that Toronto and Yorkdale mall are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Not the US.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Chute Gerdeman acquired

BY Marianne Wilson

Retail design firm Chute Gerdeman has been acquired by FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) Chicago, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

The Columbus, Ohio-based Chute Gerdeman will now align with FCB/RED, the company's retail and shopper marketing division, to deliver full omnichannel retail marketing and connected physical branded experiences.

FCB/RED provides expertise in retail marketing, branded content and experiences, activation and digital. It has often worked with third-party teams to provide full store environmental design scale and build out. Chute Gerdeman, with a core competency in the retail and restaurant categories, fills this space in FCB/RED's offerings. The newly expanded retail and shopper marketing division will be led by Tina Manikas, president of FCB/RED.

"Creating Chute Gerdeman and growing the company has been my life's work," said Denny Gerdeman, co-founder and chairman of Chute Gerdeman. "The people here have been essential to its success and I owe it to them to ensure a path forward. FCB/RED acquiring Chute Gerdeman creates a way to do just that. This is an opportunity for our team to expand their already vast retail and restaurant knowledge all while exposing them to new methods of strategy and design."

Chute Gerdeman will retain its name and Columbus office, as well as its full complement of strategic, creative and implementation teams.

"This partnership will allow for more opportunities to effectively and proactively engage and solve the challenges of retail today," said Brian Shafley, CEO, Chute Gerdeman. "Chute Gerdeman's proven ability to deliver best-in-class physical experiences connecting with shoppers corresponds perfectly with FCB/RED's shopper marketing and insights expertise."

The acquisition highlights the evolution of today's retail industry and the value in offering an end-to-end retail solution for companies with a brick-and-mortar presence. As brick-and-mortar retail continues to merge with online experiences, customers are still visiting physical locations on their path to purchase, often finalizing their retail transactions in store as opposed to online.

FCB/RED is the global, shopper-first brand agency of FCB, a fully integrated marketing communications agency that has more than 8,000 employees in 120 offices in 80 countries.

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