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Home Depot Embarks on Tech Hiring Spree
April 20, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Home Depot announced this week that it will hire more than 1,000 technology positions this year. Recode reported the home improvement retailer is using the hiring spree as a means to support an $11 billion multiyear investment plan to extend its lead in brick-and-mortar retail over competitors like Lowe’s as well as fend off increased…

Billionaire Toy Maker's Bid to Save Toys"R"Us Stores Rejected
April 19, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Toys“R”Us Inc.’s lawyers and advisers have shot down an 11th-hour offer from a billionaire toy maker that would have kept some of its U.S. stores open, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports that Isaac Larian, founder of Bratz dolls maker MGA Entertainment, Inc., came forward last week with a…

Confidence Drives Build-A-Bear Workshop's CEO's Success
April 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm

In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit in Miami, sponsored by Synchrony, Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, gave an inspiring speech that ended with attendees giving her a standing ovation. John described her unlikely path to success in the world of advertising and retail, and offered insights from her experiences to help other women reach the full potential of their careers.

Learning and Teaching Defines Paula Bennett’s Career
April 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit in Miami, Paula Bennett, the recently retired (as of this week) CEO of J.Jill, discussed her career journey and the principles that shaped it along the way. (Synchrony, a consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across retail and other industries, is…

Kroger to Hire 11,000 Workers, Raise Wages
April 13, 2018 at 10:43 am

Supermarket giant Kroger announced plans this week to hire about 11,000 workers even as it faces heated competition from Walmart and Amazon.com. It's the latest wave of hires for Kroger, which has created 22,000 positions in the past two years. Kroger operates more than 2,700 groceries in 35 states under a variety of names, including Smith's, Fred…

Target Settles Claims it Discriminated Against Blacks, Hispanics in Hiring Practices
April 6, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Target Corp has agreed to review its policies for screening job applicants and pay $3.74 million to settle a lawsuit claiming its use of criminal background checks kept thousands of blacks and Hispanics from obtaining employment. The preliminary settlement filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan requires a judge’s approval. It resolves claims that…

Retail Training in Virtual Reality: The New Secret Weapon to Scale
April 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

On a busy retail floor during peak sales season, it’s difficult (if not impossible!) to pull a veteran employee away from critical duties in order to train a new recruit. Thankfully, human resources has a new technology at their disposal to scale trainers: virtual reality (VR). Not only is VR effective in scaling training programs,…

Workplace Training Brings Competitive Advantage for Retailers
April 4, 2018 at 8:55 am

For the second year in a row, Axonify has released the results of its annual State of Workplace Training Study, conducted in December 2017 by global market research firm Ipsos. The study’s goal was to gain a comprehensive view of workplace training across different industries, including retail, and highlight the importance of providing the right kind of training to drive measurable business results.

Q&A: Annie Selke, Founder and CEO, The Annie Selke Companies
March 28, 2018 at 12:56 pm

This week’s Q&A is with WIRLC member Annie Selke, founder and CEO of The Annie Selke Companies. For more than 20 years, Annie and her team have applied a spirited, design-driven approach to creating bedding, rugs, home furnishings and accessories for everyone to love. Her brand features stylish pieces that stand out and offer lasting value. Annie distills her ideas into a variety of fabulous and functional products for the home, available through the eponymous Annie Selke brand featuring her acclaimed companies Pine Cone Hill, Dash & Albert, and Annie Selke Outlet. The Annie Selke Companies aim to inspire people to create and enjoy happy homes.

Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock to Retire
March 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Lowe's announced Monday that CEO Robert Niblock will retire from the home improvement retailer as soon as the company finds a successor. "After a 25-year career at Lowe's, including 13 years as chairman and CEO, I am confident that it's the right time to transition the company to its next generation of leadership," the 54-year-old…

New Executives Named at Jet.com, ModCloth, Tapestry
March 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm

A flurry of management changes have taken place at leading retailers recently, including Jet.com, ModCloth and Tapestry. Jet.com: Walmart's Jet.com has named Tesco veteran Simon Belsham as president of the e-commerce company, effective immediately, the company told CNBC on Monday. Belsham will be responsible for expanding Jet's online grocery business, Walmart E-Commerce CEO Marc Lore…

Whole Foods Execs Leaving As Amazon Takes Over
March 22, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Whole Foods has lost more than a dozen executives and senior managers since Amazon.com acquired it last summer, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing former employees and recruiters helping them look for new jobs. Management departures are common when a company is bought, but one former employee told WSJ that "culturally, it's been a rough…

Report: Turnover Rate for Women Execs in Retail Higher Than Men
March 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm

One of our Girls’ Lounge @ Shoptalk partners, the Network of Executive Women (NEW), released an interesting study this week that found the turnover rate among women, especially women executives, in the retail and consumer goods industries is much higher than among men.

Choice the Driver of Macy's Transformation Strategy
March 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy's, detailed the department store chain's transformation strategy as it looks to rebound from a couple of rough years. At the center of Macy's transformation: giving consumers choice. Gennette opened his presentation by rattling off some impressive stats regarding…

2018 eTail West: Cloudy With a Chance of Mobile
March 9, 2018 at 11:21 am

Last year at eTail West, it was 85 degrees. Retailers and technology vendors that attended this year’s event were greeted with clouds and temperatures in the 50s, but we made the best of it by enjoying the outdoor parties huddled around fire pits with warm cocktails. As usual, eTail offered great content, fun events and…

Q&A: Jasmine Bellamy, Global Product Strategist, Gap Factory
March 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm

We will be featuring Women in Retail Leadership Circle members, advisory board members and ladies who lead in Inner Circle Q&As over the next several months. The interviews will highlight what makes our community so special, from their leadership styles to their favorite vacation spots and everything in between. This week’s Q&A is with Jasmine Bellamy, global product strategist, Gap Factory.

New Hiring Paradigm Sets Expectations for Immediate Results
March 7, 2018 at 11:58 am

In the past, most organizations considered at least the first three months to be a “honeymoon” period where new leaders absorbed the business and navigated the company culture. This seems to have shifted, particularly among the Fortune 100. A senior HR executive at a major automotive manufacturer recently summarized her view on the acculturation period for new leaders: “My honeymoon period for this job was, at best, two weeks. Our expectation is that we hire leaders and expect them to come in and make an immediate impact.”

Best Buy to Close All Mobile Phone Stores
March 1, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Best Buy is planning to close all of its roughly 250 smaller-format mobile phone stores by the end of May, according to a report in the a StarTribune. The stores, most of which are in shopping malls and much smaller than Best Buy’s big-box locations — have become less profitable for the company. Best Buy…

Org Changes Help Gap Get Back on Track
March 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

In a keynote presentation at eTail West in Palm Springs, Calif., earlier this week, Noam Paransky, senior vice president, digital, Gap Inc., detailed how the retailer has transformed its organization to better position itself to serve today’s omnichannel consumers. Gap was one of the first mall-based retailers to have an e-commerce site, launching in 1997.…

Walmart to Raise Age Restriction to 21 for Gun Purchases
March 1, 2018 at 11:53 am

Walmart said yesterday that it's raising its age restriction to 21 for firearm and ammunition purchases. In  a statement published on its website yesterday, the retailer said it made the decision in light of recent events and will try to implement this change "as quickly as possible." Walmart also pointed out that in 2015 it ended sales of certain sporting rifles…