CitiTrends
C-SUITE

Urban apparel retailer on hunt for a new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

The chief executive of Citi Trends has resigned after two years on the job.

The value-oriented fashion retailer said that Jason Mazzola has resigned as CEO and director “to pursue another opportunity.” It named retail veteran Bruce Smith, currently Citi Trends COO and CFO, as acting chief executive officer, and Ed Anderson as executive chairman, effective immediately.

Prior to joining Citi Trends in 2007, Smith served as CFO and executive VP of Hancock Fabrics Inc. Prior to that, he served as CFO and executive VP of discount retailer Fred’s Inc.

Citi Trends, which operates 538 stores in 31 states, has started a formal search process to identify a permanent CEO. Smith, who will continue to serve as COO and CFO during the search process, will work closely with Anderson to manage Citi Trends’ operations and advance the company’s long-term business strategy.

Anderson has served as a Citi Trends director since 2001 and as chairman since May 2006. He served as CEO of the company from 2001 to April 2009 and returned to that position from January 2012 to March 2015.

“I look forward to working closely with Bruce, who has demonstrated an important range of skills and insights during his 10 years with the company, and the rest of the leadership team to create immediate and lasting value for our stockholders, customers and employees,” said Anderson. “We have begun a search for a permanent CEO, and will, of course, strongly consider Bruce for this role given his qualifications and excellent service to the company over the years.”

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josabank
MOBILITY

Men’s retailer improves online searches

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Jos. A. Banks hopes to better connect with its shoppers during online searches by “speaking their language.”

In its quest to create a more inspiring online experience, especially one that could would make product searches more consistent and relevant, Jos. A. Banks is taking steps to improve its product descriptions. The retailer began this journey by adding the Edgecase Product Intelligence Platform, a solution that helped create more than 60,000 new product values, or attributes, to define online merchandise.

Armed with more accurately tagged merchandise, the platform can normalize search and navigation language, making product easier to curate. The solution also helped the chain deliver consistent and structured product data, which enables customers to more easily find the right product using search terms that are more familiar to them, the company said.

“Prior to working with Edgecase, not all products on the Jos. A. Bank site were tagged with all the right product attributes,” said Samantha Lee, VP of site management and customer experience, Tailored Brands.

“Edgecase not only cleaned up those attributes, but added more relevant ones to better help our customers find the right products. Furthermore, this platform has saved us significant hours in product curation time,” she said. “The Edgecase team exceeded our expectations with their work on the Men’s Wearhouse site experience, so it was an easy decision to utilize the platform for Jos. A. Bank to ensure consistency in product attribution across the company.”

The retailer added product enrichment for nearly 8,000 products across the Jos. A. Bank site in a brief 30 days – a feat that would have required 11 full time resources if attempted without Edgecase technology, the retailer reported.

From there, the company expanded to 43 total product attributes across the Jos. A. Bank site. This was a 617% increase, beyond the same six attributes per category per page — including fit, size, color, material, collections. And the service continually feeds 7,500 new product values per month, Jos. A. Banks added.

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casto
DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Casto to build project in rundown area of Columbus

BY Al Urbanski

Next week, Casto and local officials will stick shovels in the ground in the East Franklinton section of Columbus and signal a major event in the rebuilding of what was the original settlement of Franklin County, Ohio.

Columbus five years ago razed the crime-ridden Riverside-Bradley public housing complex in the area on the city’s west side, and it is there that Casto will build River & Rich, a mixed-use project with 230 garden and townhouse apartments and 25,000 sq. ft. of retail.

“We’re excited to break ground on River & Rich, and to contribute to the vibrant community and growth of East Franklinton,” said Brent Sobczak, Casto’s director of multifamily development and finance.

A summer 2018 opening date has been set for River & Rich, which the Columbus-based developer is building in partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Robert Weiler Co., Kelley Cos., and Smoot Construction.


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