OPERATIONS

Williams-Sonoma hires former Hallmark exec; announces management changes

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Williams-Sonoma has hired David Jimenez, former VP of visual store design and merchandising for Hallmark, as senior VP of visual store and experience. Prior to Hallmark, David worked at national retailers including Gap Inc., Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.

“At Williams-Sonoma we are committed to offering unique in-store experiences to our customers,” said Janet Hayes, president of the Williams-Sonoma brand. “David is the right person to drive this focus and will lead us toward new innovation and continued growth for the brand.”

Williams-Sonoma has also shuffled and expanded the roles of three existing VP-level executives. Peter Sassi has been appointed senior VP, stores of the Williams-Sonoma brand. In his new role Sassi will continue to focus on customer relationships and evolving the in-store experience. For the past 10 years, Sassi has served as senior VP, inventory management, for the Williams-Sonoma brand.

Jeff Howie will now serve as the senior VP, inventory management and finance of the Williams-Sonoma brand. Howie brings more than 10 years of experience with the company, most recently as senior VP, inventory management, for the Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen brands. He has managed major company-wide projects, including the launch of the company’s global franchise operations.

John Trifoso is expanding his current role as senior VP, Pottery Barn inventory management, to lead the inventory management teams for the Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen brands.

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OPERATIONS

Barnes & Noble CEO resigns amid management shuffle

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has resigned, effective immediately. The company said it has appointed Michael P. Huseby as CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble. He had served as the company’s CFO since 2012.

Lynch, a technology veteran, took the reins of Barnes & Noble in 2010, and was a driving force in the chain’s transition into digital and the expansion of its Nook line of tablets. No reason was given for his departure.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as CEO of this terrific company over the last three years,” Lynch said in the release. “There is a great executive team and board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the Company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future.”

The changes comes after Barnes & Noble reported declining sales at its bookstores in the latest quarter and its Nook e-book devices pushed it to a net loss that more than doubled from a year ago.

In other changes, Allen Lindstrom, VP and the company’s corporate controller, has been promoted to CFO.

Max J. Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble College will continue to lead the digital education strategy and report to Huseby, as will the executive management team of NOOK Media. Huseby and Mitchell Klipper, CEO of the Barnes & Noble Retail Group, will report directly to Leonard Riggio, executive chairman of Barnes & Noble.

In a statement, Riggio said that the company is reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.

"As the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation, we believe that Michael, Mitchell and Max are the right executives to lead us into the future," Riggio said.

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OPERATIONS

Shaw’s, Star Market eliminate loyalty card

BY Staff Writer

West Bridgewater, Mass. — Shaw’s and Star Market have ended their loyalty card program. The program offered shoppers sale prices on selected items.

In line with the decision to drop the loyalty card program, Shaw’s and Star Market announced they are lowering prices on thousands of items across all of its 169 locations.

“All of our customers deserve to get the lowest price on their groceries without needing to carry a Rewards Card with them,” said Shane Sampson, president, Shaw’s and Star Market. “Every customer who walks through our door deserves our best — from service to foods to pricing — and these lower prices are what our customers can expect from us every time they visit one of our stores.”

Shaw’s and Star Market’s decision to eliminate the program puts the company in line with such fast-growing grocers as Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s, which use low prices to drive sales.

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