OPERATIONS

Saks launches new Facebook page for job applicants

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue has launched a talent acquisition page on Facebook. The new “Careers at Saks” Facebook page will allow prospective job applicants to interact directly with Saks Fifth Avenue’s talent acquisition team, search available positions and keep up with Saks Fifth Avenue. The Facebook newsfeed will include “Jobs of the Day,” career and interview tips, and other pertinent updates weekly.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s internal brand ambassadors will speak on behalf of Saks Fifth Avenue as an employer. Brand ambassadors will come from all areas within Saks Fifth Avenue, from sales associates to information technology staff to the creative and marketing team. The areas from which brand ambassadors are chosen will change regularly, so visitors to the “Careers at Saks” Facebook page will receive a multifaceted overview of the corporation over time.

“Saks Fifth Avenue looks forward to hearing stories from prospective applicants and utilizing those stories to share the Saks’ employment experience and attract top talent,” said Christine Morena, executive VP human resources for Saks. The applicant commentary and real-time responses will add an additional layer of authenticity, a key component of social media.

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Michael Francis departs J.C. Penney

BY Marianne Wilson

Plano, Texas — In an announcement that caught the retail industry by surprise, J.C. Penney Co. said that Michael Francis will be leaving the company, effective June 18. Chief executive Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company’s marketing and merchandising functions.

Francis became president of J.C. Penney on Oct. 4. His appointment was seen as the handiwork of then-incoming CEO Johnson, who is himself a former Target executive. No reason was given for Francis’ departure. In a statement, Johnson said: "We thank Michael for his hard work at J.C. Penney and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Johnson lured Francis away from Target, where he served as chief marketing officer, and was credited with enhancing the retailer’s fun and hip image. At J.C. Penney, he was responsible for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions. In announcing the appointment, Johnson said Francis had the vision "to reimagine the department store experience.”

Francis is the first top executive to leave since Johnson took charge of J.C. Penney last year.

J.C. Penney is in the midst of a vast transformation, which is being led by Johnson. The company reported a $163 million first-quarter loss and has recently been backing off on its new pricing strategy, bringing back some promotions. Shares of J.C. Penney fell nearly 6% in after-hours trading Monday on the news of Francis’ departure.

Francis began his marketing career in 1985 with Marshall Field’s, which in 1990 was acquired by Target. He was promoted to EVP marketing at Target in 2001, and was named CMO in 2008. In January 2011, he was charged with overseeing with Target’s entrance into the Canadian market.

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New goals outlined in Target’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp. has launched four new corporate responsibility goals, including a commitment to making at least 50 owned-brand packaging designs more sustainable by the end of fiscal year 2016. Target’s new goals were announced in conjunction with the release of its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report.

“When Target launched its corporate responsibility goals in 2011, we reinforced our longstanding commitment to creating a brighter future for our team members, our communities, and the world we live in,” said Tim Baer, executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary, Target. “Target’s corporate responsibility goals foster greater transparency and accountability on initiatives that help put more U.S. children on the path to graduation, reduce our impact on the environment, and help Target team members and their families live healthy, balanced lives.”

Target’s other newly announced goals are to increase its sustainable seafood selection and to increase the percentage of associates and their families enrolled in a Target health plan completing diabetes HbA1c testing to 87% by the end of fiscal year 2015.

Target also said it plans to establish a baseline that will inform a specific 2013 reading-proficiency outcome goal. The baseline will be influenced by completing an additional 32 Target School Library Makeovers at in-need schools, providing $1.5 million in grants to more than 100 Target School Library Makeover alumni schools to increase reading achievement, and implementing innovative literacy pilots in two additional school districts.

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