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Albert Heijn exec to head up Ahold Delhaize USA’s Peapod brand

BY David Salazar

Ahold Delhaize USA has tapped a company veteran as Peapod’s new president.

The company has appointed Selma Postma brand president, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Most recently, Postma was the general manager of Albert Heijn online.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Selma to serve at the helm of Peapod,” said JJ Fleeman, chief e-commerce officer and president of Peapod Digital Labs. “Selma has a proven track record of building an omnichannel experience at Albert Heijn, where she accelerated online growth to more than 20 percent annually and launched several customer-facing solutions, such as the popular mobile app, Appie, single sign-on with bol.com, the largest online, non-food retailer in the Netherlands, and much more. We are confident her expertise will accelerate the e-commerce experience for Peapod customers and continue to grow sales.”

Postma has spent nearly 20 years at Albert Heihn, Ahold Delhaize’s largest grocer in the Netherlands. During her time managing its online strategy, she optimized the chain’s website and created custom features, including voice assistants and subscription services. Her tenure saw online sales grow more than 20% annually, the company said.

“I’m very excited to join Peapod, which has a great 30-year heritage in e-commerce to build upon as we look to future growth,” said Postma. “I look forward to working with the team that has built this strong brand, along with Peapod Digital Labs and the great local U.S. brands of Ahold Delhaize, to continue to accelerate sales and deliver a world-class consumer experience.”

Postma will relocate to Chicago with her husband and three children, the company said.

“I’m very excited to see Selma take up this important role at Peapod, one of our great local brands and the leading U.S. online grocer, as we are stepping up efforts to further accelerate U.S. e-commerce growth,” said Ahold Delhaize president and CEO Frans Muller. “Her deep knowledge of food retail and online expertise make Selma the right person to lead Peapod into the next phase. Selma’s appointment is a testimonial to the deep talent pool within Ahold Delhaize and it shows how we can share best practices and knowledge across the group.”

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Pier I Imports names apparel merchandising vet to newly created position

BY Marianne Wilson

A former White House | Black Market and Ann Taylor executive is joining Pier I Imports.

Pier 1 Imports has appointed Donna Noce Colaco to the newly created position of chief customer office, effective December 3, 2018. She will lead the home furnishing retailer’s merchandising organization and oversee product development, planning and allocations, stores, marketing and e-commerce.

Most recently, Colaco served as band president of White House | Black Market, a division of Chico’s FAS, from August 2007 to January 2018. During her tenure, she led a brand repositioning and was responsible for retail and e-commerce operations, including 500 stores, as well as brand development, product design, marketing, merchandising and financial planning. She also served as a member of the Chico’s FAS executive committee.

Prior to White House | Black Market, Colaco spent 11 years with AnnTaylor Stores Corp., where she held positions of increasing responsibility within the merchandising organization, successfully launched the Loft outlet division, and served as head of e-commerce for the Ann Taylor brand. From 2006 to 2007, Colaco was president of Ann Taylor Loft.

“We are thrilled to welcome Donna in this new role as we continue to focus on bringing the customer to the center of everything we do,” said Alasdair James, president and CEO, Pier I. “With 40 years of experience in the retail industry, she brings a successful track record of reinventing brands, spearheading new business initiatives, and driving long-term sales and profit growth, which we believe will be instrumental to our success at this time of transformation. Moreover, Donna’s deep expertise in merchandising and omnichannel operations, married with her focus on brand-building and customer centricity, make her an ideal addition to our leadership team as we execute our ‘New Day’ plan.”

Pier I is working to turnaround its business. Earlier this year, it announced a three-year strategic plan, called “New Day,” that includes a store revamp, new marketing and a refining of the merchandising mix.

Earlier in her career, Colaco held positions as a buyer and merchandise manager for Limited’ Lerner New York division, and was a buyer for Petrie Stores Corporation. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Dover Saddlery, a specialty retailer and omnichannel marketer of equestrian products, since 2015.

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Executive shake-up at Children’s Place

BY Marianne Wilson

The Children’s Place has lost two executives in a move to consolidate key management roles.

The retailer said that Pamela Wallack and Anurup Pruthi have left the business to “pursue other opportunities.” Wallack was named to the newly created role of president of global product for Children’s Place in May 2017. Pruthi was appointed CFO in 2014.

“Over the past several years, we have made significant investments in support of our company-wide business transformation efforts,” said CEO and president Jane Elfers. “As we approach the last phase of our major systems implementations, the opportunity exists for significant efficiencies across the organization, and today we are announcing a more streamlined senior leadership structure.”

Elfers said she will reassume direct responsibility for product and COO. Mike Scarpa, COO, will also take on the title of CFO.

Elfers added that the chain delivered positive comp sales every month in the third quarter, resulting in a positive high single digit comp for the quarter.

“In light of our strong performance, we are reaffirming our Q3 EPS guidance,” she stated. “Importantly, our inventory is in great shape as we enter Q4.”

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