OPERATIONS

Report: Kohl’s CEO planning a management shakeup

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Corp. CEO Kevin Mansell is said to be seeking a new chief merchandising officer who would be next in line to take the CEO reins.

A report by the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, suggested that Mansell is scouting for a new chief merchant to not only take the merchandising lead for the discount department store chain but also to serve as the key player in a potential succession plan. The chief merchant slot has been vacant since the departure of Donald Brennan last March.

Kohl’s has not commented on the report.

Mansell has been with Kohl’s for more than 30 years, the last six as CEO. Sales and profits have largely been sluggish under his watch and, according to the report, the Kohl’s board will look to Mansell to show progress at the company’s board meeting on Wednesday. It is at that meeting that Mansell is expected to unveil plans for a management reorganization, according to the report.

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News

Microsoft: Half of retailers lack breach response plan

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Slightly more than half (51%) of retailers do not have a plan for responding to security breaches. According to a new study conducted by Microsoft, “Security Trends for Retail Services,” almost three-quarters (72%) of retailers do not have budgeted disaster recovery plans.

Other figures from the study also indicate many retailers have not taken recommended precautions to help improve security. For example, 35% still use paper-based inventory of asset-management solutions; 32% are not effective at asset management control; and 31% do not use roles for access. Only 29% increase capacity after there is a capacity shortage.

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FINANCE

Desktop-based e-commerce spending up 12%

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Reston, Va. — A report by comScore showed that, in the first quarter, desktop-based e-commerce rose 12% year-over-year to $56.1 billion, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and 14th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

M-commerce spending on smartphones and tablets added $7.3 billion for the quarter, up 23%, for a digital commerce spending total of $63.4 billion in the first quarter.

"Q1 e-commerce and m-commerce spending growth have seen a modest acceleration versus the fourth quarter, which is a positive sign in light of overall softness in consumer discretionary spending across the broader U.S. economy during the early part of the year," said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni. "As we look ahead to the remainder of 2014, we hope that signs of improved consumer sentiment and a strengthening job market will help further bolster digital commerce.”

Other highlights from comScore’s first-quarter report include:

• The top-performing online product categories were: Apparel & Accessories, Consumer Packaged Goods, Sport & Fitness, Digital Content & Subscriptions, and Home & Garden. Each category grew at least 13% vs. year ago.

• Desktop E-commerce accounted for 11.7% of consumers’ discretionary spending, the highest first quarter share on record.

• Of the additional $7.3 billion in mobile commerce, purchasing using smartphones accounted for 62% vs. 38% from tablets.

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