REAL ESTATE

Ross Stores makes executive appointment in real estate

BY Marianne Wilson

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores announced that Glen Boyer, previously VP real estate market research, has been named group VP real estate market research & property management.

Glen joined Ross in April 1999 as senior real estate analyst. Since his hire, Glen has been instrumental in the rollout of 886 Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts stores. He has played a significant role in successfully executing the company’s growth strategy over the past 13 years as we have grown to more than 1,150 Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts locations combined.

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J.C. Penney Transformation: Two Months In

BY Marianne Wilson

J.C. Penney is in the very beginning of its transformation. But the first component of the strategy — a new pricing model that jettisoned hundreds of promotions in favor a three-tier model — in already in place. And not surprisingly, experts are weighing in.

Citi retail analyst Deborah Weinswig predicted in a recent note that Penney’s revenue will decrease 7% this fiscal year as shoppers long used to seeing big discounts and promotions seek out such rival retailers as Macy’s. She expects same-store sales to fall 9%, more than she originally anticipated. For the full fiscal year, Weinswig expects total sales to decline to $16.06 billion, down from $17.26 billion the year before.

J.C. Penney shoppers interviewed by Citi liked the new pricing, but two-thirds weren’t aware of it. Once they were informed about the strategy, 26% said they would shop Penney’s more often, and 8% said they planned to shop there less.

Despite her less-than-stellar outlook for this year, Weinswig believes the chain’s new strategy is likely to catch on with consumers with time. Her advice: stay the course.

"We believe our findings demonstrate that the strategies announced to transform (Penney’s) business are the right actions to take and will resonate well with consumers over time," she wrote.

A similar point of view was offered by JP Morgan. After visiting stores in four regions, JP Morgan said it believes J.C. Penney’s store experience is greatly improved, but that near-term sales trends since the pricing change (which went into effect on Feb. 1) look softer than initially expected. However, the firm said patience is required for the company’s turnaround.

J.C. Penney hasn’t said all that much about how the pricing changes have impacted its business to date. The chain will report its quarterly earnings in May.


More As I See It entries.

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REI names new leadership for IT, e-commerce

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE — Recreational Equipment Inc. haspromoted Bill Baumann and Brad Brown to SVP information technology, and e-commerce and direct sales respectively. In addition, Kathleen Peterson has been named VP REI Private Brands.

"Bill and Brad’s promotions recognize the strategic importance of the information technology and e-commerce divisions to provide the infrastructure required to support REI’s growth over the next five years," said Brian Unmacht, REI’s EVP. "Kathleen’s remarkable 25-year career with premier global brands serves her well as she leads the expansion of our award-winning branded gear and apparel offerings."

Bill Baumann joined REI in 2008 as VP information technology. He leads the rapidly-growing division that is responsible for business application services and technical support, including application development and support, personal computing, technical services and networks. Baumann is also focused on ensuring that REI’s technology will drive competitive advantage in support of REI’s growth.

An REI leader since 1998, Brad Brown joined the co-op as VP information technology. In 2006, he became VP e-commerce. In his role, Brown oversees REI’s two e-commerce stores, REI.com and REI-outlet.com, and leads digital strategies to support sales, community engagement, outreach and membership initiatives. He also partners with the company’s retail leadership to leverage REI’s multi-channel approach that allows customers to shop with REI whenever and however they wish.

Following a career with adidas and Polo Ralph Lauren, Kathleen Peterson joined the REI Private Brands division as director of sourcing in 2007. She was promoted to divisional VP in August 2011. As VP REI Private Brands, she leads the design, development and commercialization of all REI-brand and Novara branded products, and industry collaboration in product stewardship. She replaces Lee Fromson, who was recently named SVP merchandising. REI’s in-house team develops award-winning gear, apparel and bikes sold exclusively by the company under the REI and Novara labels in the categories of camping, hiking, cycling, urban lifestyle, travel and general outdoor recreation.

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