Nordstrom creates new executive role
Nordstrom has added the title of chief innovation officer to its executive team.
The department store retailer named company veteran Geevy Thomas to the new position. Thomas, who most recently served as president of Nordstrom Rack, brings 34 years of experience in all areas of Nordstrom to this role, beginning as a salesperson and then moving into store, regional and buying management roles.
“Our new chief innovation officer and his team will lead the most forward-looking customer-centric effort that Nordstrom has taken on to date,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom.
The new Innovation team will be tasked with helping the company ideate how its full-line stores of the future will better serve customers through further integration of digital and mobile.
“We’re looking to answer big questions and to get there, we’re giving our Nordstrom Innovation team the ability to move quickly and boldly to find solutions for the stores of tomorrow right out of the gate today,” continued Nordstrom. “Creating a fully separate team will help remove restrictions or boundaries around what’s possible for the Innovation team to test and try.”
Replacing Thomas as president of Nordstrom Rack is Karen McKibbin as president, Nordstrom Rack. A 30-year Nordstrom veteran, McKibbin most recently was the company’s first president of Nordstrom Canada. She was named to the role in 2012, leading the company’s efforts to serve customers through its first international venture. She and her team opened five of the company’s six planned stores (with one to come in 2017).
McKibbin began her Nordstrom career in 1985 as a stockperson.
Proposed Republican tax reforms would hit these retailers the hardest
Apparel retailers might be in for tough going if proposed tax reforms pass.
Among the measures that the House Republicans have proposed is a border-adjusted tax — a destination-basis tax — that would make it more expensive for U.S. companies to bring back their products for domestic sale. Apparel retailers top a list of the industries that would be most at risk by such a tax, according to a report by Business Insider.
"Apparel retailers have a relatively large proportion of goods that are imported (particularly as they tend to be more vertically integrated)," said Ike Boruchow, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo, in a recent note, according to the report.
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BJ’s jumps into cash automation
BJ’s Wholesale Club is knee-deep in a company-wide initiative to add processes that allow it to operate more efficiently.
It has taken a major step by partnering with Glory Global Solutions to roll out cash automation solutions across its 200-plus-club chain. As cash still accounts for around 30% of consumer transactions in the U.S., it remains extremely important to retailer margins. However, the process of moving money is complex.
Besides being labor intensive, multiple human touch points and a lack of security leads to shrinkage that stems from both accidental loss and intentional theft. By adding a cash recycling program, “we hope to decrease average labor hours needed in our lower (back) office,” explained Mike Loudon, VP operations support for BJ’s.
Using the provider’s Cashfinity cash recyclers, the chain embarked on an executed a proof-of-concept in several stores, which produced “a savings of 7.5 hours per day per store in cash processing labor,” he added.
“Across our entire store base, that labor savings represents millions of dollars,” Loudon said.
From a labor perspective, BJ’s plans to reinvest associates’ time into more member-facing activities.
“An additional benefit we didn’t anticipate was the significant reduction in cash required to be on hand at each club,” London said. “We reduced cash in-store between 15%-20%, which we are putting to better use else-where in our business.”
Upon completing its chain-wide rollout of cash recycling solutions, “We anticipate the cashier cash variances also will go down,” he added.