TECHNOLOGY

Camping World bolsters its brand portfolio — again

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The largest U.S. chain dedicated to recreational vehicles is acquiring another company.

Camping World Holdings announced that it will purchase Uncle Dan’s Outfitters, a specialty retailer of outdoor gear, apparel and camping supplies. The new company will strengthen Camping World’s efforts to expand its presence in the broader outdoor lifestyle market.

Specifically, Camping World will use Uncle Dan’s Outfitters e-commerce platform to increase its customer reach and add new quality product offerings. Uncle Dan’s Outfitters will also serve as the official supplier of outdoor gear, apparel and camping supplies to the company’s rebranded Gander Outdoors retail stores across the country.

Gander Mountain, a retailer focused on hunting, fishing, camping, and outdoor gear, is one of Camping World’s many acquisitions over the last six months. In addition to acquiring certain assets of Gander Mountain, the company also acquired Overton’s, a boating and marine accessories company, and TheHouse.com, an online retailer specializing in bikes, sailboards, skateboards, wakeboards, snowboards and outdoor gear.

“Under the leadership of Brent Weiss and family for over 45 years, Uncle Dan’s Outfitters strengthens Camping World Holding’s efforts to build a seamless approach to the outdoor lifestyle market and further positions the company to expand the reach and product offerings of our e-commerce business,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman of Camping World Holdings. “The management team not only possess strong knowledge of the outdoor outfitter market, but also has a keen eye for the development and invention of new product offerings.”

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C-SUITE

QVC Group shakes up leadership team to support pending acquisition

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

New leaders are set to take the reins at QVC.New leaders are set to take the reins at QVC.

QVC president and CEO Mike George announced plans for a new organizational structure and senior executive team for the QVC Group, specifically across the business units and global functions. All appointments will be effective once QVC’s parent company, Liberty Interactive Corp., completes its previously announced acquisition of HSN, Inc., which is expected to close later this year.

New leaders across the business units include:

QVC US: Steve Hoffman will be president, QVC US. Hofmann is currently president, QVC International. QVC US brings the QVC shopping experience—combining retail, media and social—to customers in the U.S. It is the company’s largest business unit with over $6 billion in revenue in 2016.

HSN: Mike Fitzharris will be president, HSN. Fitzharris is currently CEO, representative director and chairman, QVC Japan. HSN achieved $2.5 billion in net sales in 2016. Gregg Bertoni, who is currently senior VP, CNR Mall, will replace Fitzharris as CEO of QVC Japan.

Zulily: Lori Twomey will be interim president, Zulily, until a permanent leader is named in the coming months. Twomey is chief merchant for Zulily. In 2016, the team delivered $1.5 billion in revenue.

Cornerstone: Claire Spofford will be president, Cornerstone. Spofford is currently president, Garnet Hill, and will continue to lead that business while taking on this new leadership role. Cornerstone is an interactive and catalog business of leading aspirational lifestyle brands: Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements.

QVC International: A new leader for QVC International will be announced in the coming months. QVC International serves customers in Japan, U.K. & Ireland, Germany & Austria, Italy, France, and China.
Changes in the company’s global functions include:

Global Merchandising: Doug Howe will be chief merchandising officer. He is currently executive VP of merchandising, QVC.

Interactive Commerce Experiences: Mary Campbell will be chief interactive experience officer. Campbell is currently executive VP of commerce platforms, QVC. This team will drive QVC Group’s ongoing transformation and expand marketing programs to reach new segments of consumers; create new forms of ‘live’ and dynamic content, and develop next generation digital and interactive platforms. Todd Sprinkle will be chief digital officer. Reporting to Campbell, he will drive platform innovation as the company extends its global leadership in live and interactive shoppable content. Sprinkle is currently CIO, QVC.

New Ventures: Darrel Cavens will be president, New Ventures. Cavens is currently president and CEO, Zulily. He will be responsible for driving innovative retail concepts and additional growth opportunities.

Operations: Bob Spieth will be COO. Speith is currently executive VP of customer and business services, QVC and Zulily. Speith will manage global customer service, quality, supply chain and workplace services across all business units.

People, Communications & Community: Beth Rubino will be chief people officer. She is currently executive VP of human resources, QVC. This team ensures the company attracts, develops, and retains the best and most diverse talent in the industry, communicates with integrity, and gives back to global communities.

Technology: Karen Etzkorn will be CIO. She is currently CIO, HSNi.

Finance: Ted Jastrzebski will be CFO. He is currently executive VP and CFO, QVC.

Legal & Compliance: Larry Hayes will be general counsel. He is currently senior VP and general counsel, QVC.

“These are strong, seasoned executives, drawn from across our businesses, with deep expertise in their respective disciplines and in retail,” George said.

“Our new group will bring together QVC, HSN, Zulily and the Cornerstone brands to create a premier global retailer with extraordinary reach and unlimited potential,” George said. “Together, we will define a new generation of shopping that combines commerce, content, and multi-platform engagement to change the way she shops – all the while retaining the uniqueness of our well-known brands and continuing to build on our distinctive legacies.”

The new QVC Group will generate $14 billion in annual revenue, and will serve 23 million customers worldwide, according to the company.

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OPERATIONS

Online giant embarks on holiday hiring spree

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is getting ready for the upcoming holiday rush.

The online giant will add 120,000 seasonal workers to ensure it can service shoppers during the holiday shopping season. This is the same amount as last year. New hires will fill positions across Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers, sortation centers and customer service sites operating across 33 states.

Among the roles that seasonal hires will fill include helping to pick, pack and ship customers’ holiday orders. They will work alongside more than 125,000 full-time employees who already fulfill these roles at more than 75 Amazon fulfillment centers across the country.

Last year, thousands of holiday workers transitioned into regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and Amazon expects to continue that trend this year.

“We prepare year round for the holidays and we’re excited to hire for over 120,000 positions this season to help delight our customers,” said Dave Clark, Amazon senior VP of global customer fulfillment. “We look forward to welcoming back holiday employees who return year-after-year to Amazon and welcome new faces to the team, many of whom will continue on with regular, full-time roles with the company after the holidays.”

Other retailers’ holiday hiring plans are also underway. Target announced it will hire approximately 100,000 employees for the upcoming holiday season, an increase of approximately 40%.

Macy’s will hire 80,000 holiday workers. However, this is a decrease from 83,000 last year.

Meanwhile, Walmart is once again bucking the holiday hiring trend. For the second year in a row, the discount giant plans to offer extra hours to its current associates. They will be trained for roles like cashier and stocker, and newly-created technology-empowered positions, such as personal shoppers and Pickup associates.

Kohl’s announced a similar strategy. The company plans to give additional hours to its current workforce — a group that it has been ramping up all year. While the company also plans to hire “some seasonal staff,” it is not revealing the specific number.

 

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