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Ralph Lauren adds new exec positions

BY Marianne Wilson

Ralph Lauren Corporation has created two executive positions as the company continues its turnaround efforts and to search for a new chief executive.

Ralph Lauren tapped Jonathan Bottomley to the newly created position of chief marketing officer, effective April 3. He will be responsible for evolving Ralph Lauren’s brand voice, leading the global marketing team and building cut-through marketing strategies across the company’s brands.

Most recently, Bottomley served as chief strategy officer of Virtue, a Vice Media Company. Prior to that, he was chief strategy officer and managing partner in the London headquarters of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, where he led strategic brand-building efforts for clients across the luxury and consumer lifestyle sectors.

In addition, Tom Mendenhall has been named brand president, Men’s Polo, Purple Label and Double RL. In this newly created role, all men’s brand functions will report into him, including design and merchandising, and he will be charged with maximizing brand strength to improve sales growth.

Mendenhall joins Ralph Lauren from Tom Ford International, where he served as COO for more than a decade, working alongside Tom Ford to build the brand from its inception. Prior to that, he was a senior VP at Abercrombie & Fitch.

“As we write our next chapter, we continue to add exceptionally strong leaders with the passion, energy, and talent to lead our company into the future,” stated Ralph Lauren. “Both Jonathan and Tom bring a fresh perspective and incredible depth of brand experience to Ralph Lauren. They each have impressive track records and we are looking forward to welcoming them into our leadership as our evolution continues.”

In February, the company announced that its CEO and president, Stefan Larsson, would step down on May 1, in what it described as a mutual agreement to part ways.

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P.F. Chang’s signs on at Butler Town Center

BY Al Urbanski

Gainesville retail pioneer Butler Enterprises announced the signing of P.F. Chang’s as a restaurant anchor at its Butler Town Center, now under development.

"It's an excellent fit for P.F. Chang's and we're really looking forward to sharing our farm-to-wok food philosophy with the entire Gainesville community," said P.F. Chang’s CMO Dwayne Chambers.

The chain will join Whole Foods as a chief draw at the town-center-style addition to the 1.9-million-sq.-ft. Neighborhoods at Butler, which is set to open in time for the 2017 holiday season. The 5,600-sq.-ft. Chang’s is scheduled for a 2018 debut.

Butler Town Center will be a Main Street-style collection of carefully curated boutiques, restaurants, entertainment and residences that, when completed, will take total tenants at the Butler complex past 300.

“Dining out is an important part of the urban experience, and we're planning a diverse mix of chef-driven restaurants, cafes and nationally known names,” said Butler Enterprises president Deborah Butler.


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Top merchant exec to exit drugstore giant

BY Marianne Wilson

Walgreens Boots Alliance is losing its chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Linda Filler, Walgreens' president of retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer, will depart the retailer effective April 1. Filler has been in the role since January 1, 2015. Prior to joining the drug store chain, she was president of Claire’s Stores. Before Claire’s, Filler served as was executive VP and chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club,

"We appreciate Linda’s contributions to our company,” Michael Polzin, divisional VP corporate communications at Walgreens Boots, said in an emailed statement to Chain Store Age sister publication Drug Store News. “Under her leadership, we have created a clear plan to accelerate our progress in retail products and we’re seeing market-share growth and improvement in customer satisfaction. Linda has agreed to act in a strategic advisory capacity to us beyond this date. In addition, she has plans to accept a second public company board role and to devote more time to her family."

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