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Hudson’s Bay taps another former CVS exec for a top position

BY Marianne Wilson

Several months after it named a drugstore veteran as its CEO, Hudson’s Bay has once again reached outside department store ranks to fill a key management position.

The department giant has appointed Bari Harlam as chief marketing officer, effective immediately. Milton Pappas, who was appointed to the position in November after serving as interim CMO since June, has left the company.

Harlam is the former senior VP of as senior VP of marketing at CVS Health, where she built and launched CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare program, the largest retail loyalty program in the world, according to HBC. In February, HBC tapped Helena Foulks, executive VP of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, as chief executive.

Most recently, Harlam served in senior marketing roles at BJ’s Wholesale, where she was senior VP of membership marketing and analytics, and Swipley, where she was chief marketing officer.

“Successful marketing is grounded in analytics and digital insights, and Bari has demonstrated an innate ability to translate this complex data into breakthrough strategies that put the customer first,” said Foulkes. “Bari is the ideal strategic leader to harness the power of our information to drive performance. Her experience will be incredibly valuable to our business as we work to reinvent the way we market and deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers across all channels.”

HBC’s banners across North America and Europe include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, Saks OFF 5TH, Galeria Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, and Belgium’s only department store group, Galeria INNO.

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Furniture retailer taps former Barnes & Noble head as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Art Van Furniture has appointed a veteran retailer as its next chief executive.

The Midwest furniture and mattress retailer said that Ronald Boire will join the company as its new president and CEO, effective April 30, 2018. He will succeed Kim Yost, who recently announced his retirement after nine years with the chain.

Boire comes to Art Van having previously served in senior executive positions, including president and CEO roles, at a wide variety of retail and consumer electronic companies, including Barnes & Noble (where he served as CEO from September 2015 to August 2016), Sony Electronics, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, Brookstone, and Sears Canada.

Prior to joining Art Van, he was a principal at The Upland Group, an advisory firm specializing in the development, leadership, and execution of transformational strategies for retail and consumer product companies.

“We thank Kim [Yost] for the leadership and guidance he has provided to the company through this year of transition, and wish him well in his retirement,” said Jeff Swenson, managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, which acquired Art Van Furniture in 2017 for an estimated $550 million. “Looking ahead, we are thrilled with Ron’s decision to join Art Van. His deep expertise in retail management and extensive experience leading transformational and omnichannel strategies focused on delivering best-in-class customer experiences – both online and in stores – will be incredibly valuable as we build on a long and storied history of growth for the Art Van, Levin, and Wolf brands.”

Art Van Furniture operates 185 stores in nine under a variety of banners, including Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, Art Van Flooring, Scott Shuptrine Interiors, Levin Furniture, Wolf Furniture and Gardiner Wolf Furniture.

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Lord & Taylor on the hunt for a new leader

BY Marianne Wilson

Thirty-years plus Lord & Taylor veteran is stepping down.

Liz Rodbell, president of Lord & Taylor, which is owned by Hudson’s Bay Company, and of the industry’s most admired executives, is leaving the company at the end of April. A search is underway for her successor.

Rodbell joined Lord & Taylor in 1985, as a dress buyer. She went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility.

From 2014 to June 2017, Rodbell served as president of both Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, after serving as executive VP and chief merchant of both businesses.

Last June, as part of a HBC management organization, she lost her title at Hudson’s Bay and shifted her focus to just running Lord & Taylor.

“Liz is a strong leader at HBC who has made a mark on Hudson’s Bay over the last five years,” Jerry Storch, the then CEO of HBC, said in a statement at the time. “Liz’s vision for the future of retail has helped steer the business, and she truly understands our customer. With more than 30 years at Lord & Taylor, Liz is uniquely positioned to continue to lead the banner through its evolution and drive its digital strategy.”

Rodbell is credited with helping to grow Lord & Taylor’s e-commerce business, transforming the store into an multi-channel experience, and updating its image.

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