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Vitamin Shoppe names new merchandising, marketing chief

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A retailer that specializes in nutritional products tapped a 30-year retail veteran to head up its merchandising and marketing efforts.

The Vitamin Shoppe named David Mock as its executive VP, chief merchandising and marketing officer, effective July 30, 2018. He has been serving as a consultant to the company since January.

Mock brings three decades of merchandising experience to the position. Most recently, he served as president of D Mock Retail Rebuild Ltd. Prior to that, he was chief merchandising and marketing officer for Earth Fare.

Mock also served as senior VP merchandising, global sourcing and innovation officer for Canadian Tire Retail, as well as senior VP merchandising, hardlines, consumables, pharmacy, haba/cosmetics for Zellers. He also held various positions at Loblaw Companies Limited, with his last position being senior VP food merchandising and marketing.

“We are delighted to have Dave join the Vitamin Shoppe leadership team,” said Alex Smith, chairman of the Vitamin Shoppe. “He is a talented and experienced retail executive with significant experience in retail transformation and a proven track record of successfully implementing strategies and rapidly turning around retailers driving top line growth and improved profitability. We look forward to working with Dave as we continue building on the transformational work that is underway.”

The appointment comes on the heels of the retailer appointing Sharon M. Leite as its new CEO, effective August 27, 2018. She will also become a member of the board. Most recently, Leite served as president of Godiva Chocolatier in North America, a position she has held since October 2017.

The Vitamin Shoppe conducts business through more than 775 company-operated retail stores under The Vitamin Shoppe and Super Supplements retail banners, and through its website.

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Online marketing execs frustrated job-wise

BY Marianne Wilson

A good number of digital retail marketing leaders are looking for new jobs.

Forty-two percent of executives predict they will interview at other companies within six months, according to a survey by performance advertising software company Nanigans. Also, over the past seven years, respondents report their companies have had an average of 2.6 chief marketing officers.

The survey of 100 digital advertising decision-makers — including chief marketing officers at some of the largest online retailers in the U.S. — found that despite marketing being tasked with revenue accountability, roadblocks — including increased demands, organizational challenges and external market forces — prevent success.

Based on the survey results the top three priorities of retail marketers are: improving ROI / boosting sales (27%), customer acquisition and retention (24%), and expanding / increasing market share (24%). These objectives underscore the pressure senior-level marketers face to prove results as competition and customer expectations simultaneously increase.

Other key survey findings include:

• Fifty-eight percent of marketing leaders have seen their roles become fragmented among different executives;

• Ninety-three percent of marketing leaders sometimes or often need buy-in from non-marketing executives on growth-related initiatives;

• Less than a third (30%) of respondents strongly agree that the measure of success for the marketing organization is clearly defined and known across the company; and

• The top three topics marketers are actively having conversations about include: data privacy and security (58%), artificial intelligence and machine learning (53%), and regulation and compliance – including the General Data Protection Regulation (47%).

“Our research findings speak to the confusion and transformation taking place in marketing today. It’s unclear who owns this critical business function, especially as new roles emerge such as the chief digital officer or chief growth officer,” said Ric Calvillo, co-founder and CEO of Nanigans. “To maintain order and drive growth, modern CMOs need independence and autonomy, setting clear metrics and objectives across the organization.”

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Retail exec bonuses on the rise, reversing five-year trend

BY Marianne Wilson

Improved year-over-year retail growth in 2017 has contributed to a dramatic reversal in payouts for retail executives.

The percentage of retail executives who received targeted bonus amounts nearly doubled in 2018, according to new research from Korn Ferry. The study found that in 2018, 29% of retail corporate executives had bonus payouts of at least 100% of their targeted bonuses. In 2017, only 15% of retail executives received at least 100% of their target bonus.

Conversely, the percentage of retail executives who received no bonuses took a fairly dramatic drop year-over-year, with only 5% receiving no bonus in 2018, compared to 29% receiving no bonus in 2017.

Korn Ferry conducted an analysis of 65 North American retailers, with median annual sales of approximately $5.2 billion representing approximately 5.5 million employees.

2018 reverses a 5-year-trend of executives increasingly receiving no bonuses.

The bonus increases correlate to better performance in the industry, Korn Ferry noted. The National Retail Federation predicts retail sales will rise approximately 4% in 2018 compared to 2017.

“Despite ongoing high-profile retail closures, the industry in general is continually evolving to attract customers and increase financial performance,” said Craig Rowley, a Korn Ferry senior partner specializing in the retail industry. “That results in an increase in the size of bonuses retailers are able to award their executives. Organizations are also widening performance ranges at which executives will be able to begin to earn their bonuses. This allows them to reward executives for business improvement as they strive to achieve their business plans in a competitive market.”

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