Linda Heasley has stepped down from her roles as president, chief executive officer and member of the board with J.Jill after a year and a half with the brand. The news coincides with the report of J.Jill's disappointing third quarter results, which saw a comparable sales decrease of 7 percent and net sales decrease of $8 million. Jim S. Scully has been appointed J.Jill's interim CEO as the company begins a search process for Heasley's replacement. Scully has served as a member of the board of directors since 2017, and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the retail sector. He has served as executive vice president and COO of Avon Products and COO of J.Crew Group.
Total Retail's Take: Scully inherits a challenging job. J.Jill, and the mall-based specialty apparel sector as a whole, have struggled with declining foot traffic (and subsequent sales) as more competition has emerged online, including brands selling direct to consumer. In taking over J.Jill, Scully noted that he will be focusing his attention on the company's customer, product, operating fundamentals and financial discipline. Can he get J.Jill back on the right track to profitability? Time will tell, but the odds at this point seem to be stacked against him.