Macy's has poached an eBay executive as it shakes up its management and cuts 100 jobs in an effort to reignite slumping sales at the department store chain. Hal Lawton, senior vice president of North America at eBay, will join Macy's on Sept. 8 as president. The company is expanding its customer insights and data analytics to include inventory replenishment and pricing capabilities. Macy's has consolidated its merchandising, planning and private-label functions into a single department, leading to the 100 job cuts. The management changes were aimed at streamlining decision-making so the department store chain can be more nimble in reacting to change.
Total Retail's Take: Macy's has been struggling with declining traffic and sales at its brick-and-mortar stores, and thus is looking to beef up its digital business to offset those losses. Lawton, who was hired at eBay to help turn around the online retailer's business, will be asked to do the same for Macy's. In addition to Lawton's hiring, Macy's is streamlining its business so that it can be more flexible and quicker to market, an imperative in today's rapidly evolving retail industry, particularly online. While job cuts are never easy, Macy's is hopeful the organizational changes will result in a business that's better able to compete against the likes of Amazon.com and Wal-Mart.