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Retail appointments of the week

Deciem’s outgoing COO Stephen Kaplan. (Source: Facebook)

Deciem chief operating officer retires

By Dean Blake

Beauty business Deciem’s chief operating officer Stephen Kaplan has announced his retirement.

Kaplan, who initially joined the business in 2017 and was part of a short-term management shuffle that saw a number of key executives fired and subsequently rejoin the business, also served as the business’ chief financial officer. 

“If I can leave with some parting advice; have integrity, always show fairness, be trustworthy, be accountable, be respectable, and always be true to yourself,” Kaplan said in his farewell message to the company. 

PVH Corp appoints chief strategy officer

By Dean Blake

Global fashion house PVH Corp has announced that Sara Bland will be taking up the role of chief strategy officer, and will work across its Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands. 

Bland formerly worked as executive vice president of global strategy at Kontoor Brands, which oversees clothing brands Wrangler, Lee, and Rock & Republic.

“I’m thrilled to be joining PVH at this incredibly exciting time as the company moves ahead with speed to activate its PVH+ plan,” Bland said. 

“PVH has a truly unique opportunity to grow two of the most iconic brands in the world across global markets, and I look forward to working with the talented team there to help drive the connection between brand, strategy, transformation, and growth.”

Bland will report directly to PVH Corp’s chief executive officer Stefan Larsson, who said Bland will play an important role in the business’ new direction.

“Sara will play a critical role, working with me and the [executive leadership team], in driving our strategy forward to unlock the full potential of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger and deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

Gap eliminates 500 corporate jobs amid shrinking margins

By Ananya Mariam Rajesh of Reuters

Gap Inc is eliminating about 500 corporate jobs, the apparel chain said on Tuesday, as it struggles to protect margins and battles weak sales of outdated clothes at brands including Old Navy.

The company is laying off staff and eliminating positions that are currently open across a range of departments, it said. The eliminated roles are mainly at its offices in San Francisco, New York and in Asia.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

Late last month, the company withdrew its annual forecasts due to an inventory glut and weak sales.

Gap is in the middle of a CEO transition after Sonia Syngal stepped down earlier this year, and is currently led on an interim basis by Executive Chairman Bob Martin.

Booktopia boardroom spill clears the way for new CEO, says founder

By Robert Stockdill

A boardroom spill at online book retailer Booktopia has seen chairman Chris Beare and three fellow independent directors resign. 

Su-Ming Wong resigned on Tuesday with immediate effect, while Fiona Pak-Poy and Judy Slatyer will stay on until the group’s annual meeting on November 28. Beare will remain as chairman until a replacement is found. 

Founder Tony Nash issued a statement on Wednesday saying he intends to remain a director of Booktopia but will not be resuming an executive role with the company. 

The resignations follow Nash’s move in August – as a shareholder with in excess of 5 per cent of the company – to call an extraordinary meeting of the shareholders to discuss changing directors. Since then negotiations have ensued to reach a compromise, with “various options” discussed between Nash and other directors.   

Booktopia’s leadership has been under a cloud since Nash announced in May he would step sideways into a new role overseeing growth strategy sparking a search for a replacement. While he said he would remain in the role during the recruitment for his replacement, the board subsequently fired Nash in July, appointing CFO Geoff Stalley as interim CEO. No longer with an executive role in the business, Nash continued as a director, serving out his six months notice “out of the office”.

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