Serta International CEO steps down
Serta Simmons Holdings has announced that Bob Sherman, CEO of National Bedding Company (doing business as Serta International), has decided to leave the company to pursue other interests, effective immediately.
The company stated that during his 25-year tenure, Sherman drove a combination of groundbreaking product innovation, strong customer relationships and operational excellence that led Serta to become the top mattress brand in the United States.
Among the many accomplishments under his leadership, Serta’s “Counting Sheep” advertising campaign was named Advertising Icon of the Year in 2008 and Serta’s revolutionary iComfort product line set an industry record by being the fastest brand to reach $1 billion in retail sales. His career in bedding spans 45 years, from delivering mattresses in his home state of Minn. at age 16 to leading the mattress brand.
Also leaving the company is SVP of marketing and merchandising Barbara Bradford. Bradford has 42 years of industry experience and is Sherman’s wife. Bradford played a key role in the development of the iComfort series and was responsible for developing Serta’s branded collections, including Trump Home.
“Bob has been a true leader in the mattress industry,” said David Swift, the company’s chairman. “On his path to building the leading brand in the mattress business, he also delivered one of the most successful product launches and some of the most successful marketing campaigns in history. We thank Bob for creating such a strong and lasting brand in Serta, and we’ll endeavor to build upon his legacy as we move forward.”
Gary Fazio, the current CEO of Simmons Bedding Company, will become the CEO of the Serta Simmons Holdings. He will be responsible for overseeing both the Serta and Simmons businesses, which will continue to maintain separate product development, marketing and sales divisions.
Fazio has 41 years of bedding manufacturing and retail experience. He joined Simmons in 2010 after the company’s restructuring. Prior to joining Simmons, he was the CEO of Mattress Firm for nine years before being named chairman in 2010.
“We have great people at Serta and Simmons. Together we will continue to lead the industry delivering innovative products, investing in all of our brands and providing differentiated services to our channel partners and end consumers,” said Fazio.
Department 56 names a new president
Enesco, LLC, a leading global designer, producer and marketer of branded giftware, plush toys and home and garden décor, has appointed Molly C. Kinney as president of Department 56, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enesco.
Kinney replaces Susan Azar, who recently resigned her position after 10 years with Department 56.
“We are very sad that Sue has decided to leave the business but understand and appreciate her desire to spend more time with her family. We thank Sue for the legacy she is leaving us and for all that she has done for Department 56 and Enesco,” said Tom Bowles, CEO. “We are delighted to have Molly join our Enesco team to head Department 56. She brings a very strong and unique skill set including business management, creative design and development, global sourcing, customer relationships and leadership. She has tremendous respect for the heritage of the Department 56 brand, its loyal customers, and the company’s prominent position in the marketplace.”
“Department 56 is a great company led by an incredibly passionate team. I look forward to working with all of our talented artists, merchants and marketers to serve the interests of our outstanding customers and to define and cultivate our continued growth,” added Kinney.
Kinney has more than 20 years of experience in the home and giftware space. She spent a decade at Cole River Co. as the founder and president of a boutique wholesale brand. After successfully exiting Cole River in 2010, she did significant product work for Midwest-CBK, Target and most recently Blu Dot Design and Manufacturing. Prior to establishing Cole River, Kinney served as director of Asia-Pacific Marketing for Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, and for Kamsky Associates in New York, worked in U.S.-China business consulting.
She has a B.A. from Santa Clara University, a master’s in international business and China studies from Columbia University in New York, and completed Chinese language studies at Cheng Kong University in Taiwan.
Enesco’s portfolio of brands includes Department 56 Villages, the Grinch, Peanuts, Disney, Dr. Seuss, Snowbabies, Possible Dreams, Gund Teddy Bears, Sesame Street, Boyd’s Bears and Jim Shore’s Disney Traditions. Enesco distributes its products to a wide variety of specialty card and gift retailers, home décor boutiques, department stores as well as large national chains and direct mail retailers.
Department 56 is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and its products can be found in more than 4,000 retail outlets, including gift, specialty, floral, toy, book and department stores.
Neiman Marcus Group sweetens deal for online shoppers
Neiman Marcus Group will begin to offer free standard shipping and returns for all domestic purchases made online through neimanmarcus.com and bergdorfgoodman.com as well as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores. The announcement comes just in time for the holiday season.
"The customer has always been at the center of the Neiman Marcus business model. Permanent free shipping and returns have been a top request and we are happy to be able to make this change just in time for the holiday shopping season." said Wanda Gierhart, chief marketing officer.
Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman have made numerous enhancements in the past year to make shopping easier for all customers. Internationally, customers in more than 100 countries can now order from neimanmarcus.com in the currency of their choice with shipping costs and applicable duties and taxes calculated for them. All international orders greater than $100 U.S. will ship free of charge.
All Neiman Marcus employees have smartphones loaded with apps to help them stay in touch with customers about alterations, merchandise delivery and new items of interest. In addition, iPads are being used in select departments in all stores to give customers access to online inventory as well as what is currently available in store.
Online, customers will have access to the Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman replenishment service, wherein items are automatically shipped to customers at the interval they select. While shopping online, a customer can use the "Find In Store" button that locates an item in a store within a certain specified radius.
The Bergdorf Goodman website recently underwent a full redesign to reflect the editorial feel of its quarterly magazines and further facilitate the customer’s luxury shopping experience.