OPERATIONS

Princeton Review CEO joins J.C. Penney board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of test preparation company The Princeton Review and online tutoring company Tutor.com, has been elected to The J.C. Penney Co. Inc. board of directors.

Prior to leading The Princeton Review and Tutor.com, Ginsberg held the positions of CEO and general manager for global online dating service Match.com. Prior to that, Ginsberg was VP and general manager of Chemistry.com, a premium offering from Match.com. During her career, she has also held positions related to consumer technology and marketing, including serving on the board of directors of Care.com from 2012 to 2014.

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OPERATIONS

Ruby Tuesday appoints PepsiCo exec as marketing chief

BY Dan Berthiaume

Maryville, Tenn. – Ruby Tuesday Inc. has appointed David Skena as chief marketing officer.

During the past nine years, Skena progressed through PepsiCo Inc. with increasing levels of responsibility, most recently serving as the VP of premium and value brands.

In the chief marketing officer role, Skena will be responsible for developing and implementing effective marketing strategies and initiatives to build brand awareness and customer loyalty through traditional media, digital and social channels, and other innovative platforms.

Prior to PepsiCo, Skena served more than six years at Kraft Foods Inc. in brand management for multiple product lines.

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FINANCE

NRF: Sales look a little less rosy

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) is now a little less rosy in its sales expectations for 2015. The NRF has lowered its full-year retail sales forecast because of unexpected slow growth recorded during the first half of the year, similar to the industry’s experience in 2014.

However, NRF still expects sales will steadily increase through the remainder of the year. NRF forecasted in February that retail sales would grow 4.1% in 2015 from 2014, but today’s revision lowers the forecast to 3.5%.

NRF calculated that sales grew 2.9% during the first half of 2015 and are expected to grow at a more positive pace of 3.7% during the next five months. The estimates include general retail sales and non-store sales, and exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants. Revised non-store sales are now expected to grow between 6% and 8%, still within the 7% to 10% range originally forecast.

“For years consumer spending has been hampered by lackluster growth in our economy,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Much of that blame can be shifted to Washington, where too much time has been spent crafting rules and regulations that almost guarantee negative consequences for consumers and American businesses alike. Until the government and our elected leaders get serious about enacting policies that lift consumer confidence, create economic growth and spur investment, we will continue this trend of solid, but not exceptional, performance in the economy.”

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