Cover Story: The Top Women in Cross-Channel Retail
Catherine David, Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Pier 1 Imports
Since joining Pier 1 Imports in 2009 as executive vice president of merchandising, Cathy David has led the company in developing a best-in-class buying organization that creates one-of-a-kind assortments, which continues to drive top-line sales growth. Previously, she served as president and chief operating officer for Kirkland's, Inc. David has also held senior leadership positions with Sears Holdings and Target Corporation. During her tenure at Target, David led a team that was responsible for launching target.com. David was a charter member of the Shop.org board of directors and is now a director emeritus. She received her B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.B.A. from Northwestern University.
TIP: Being a best-in-class multichannel retailer is all about a focus on the customer, which transcends the focus on channels. Each area of the organization must be focused on the same goal — surprising and delighting the customer — and strategies must be aligned across functions. At Pier 1 Imports, we know our customer has more choices than ever before and we're committed to providing unique assortments and an exceptional, seamless experience wherever she engages with our brand.
Kristen D'Arcy, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce, Oscar de la Renta
Kristen D'Arcy is the senior vice president of e-commerce for Oscar de la Renta. Having joined the brand in 2011, D'Arcy is responsible for building its e-commerce business, overseeing the operations, planning, buying and merchandising for OscardelaRenta.com, in addition to teams leading online acquisition and loyalty efforts. Prior to her current role, D'Arcy was responsible for Ralph Lauren's U.S. digital marketing activities, including search, email and affiliate marketing teams.
TIP: Be innovative and nimble. Test, learn and optimize.
Matey Erdos, President and CEO, Sundance Catalog
Previously Sundance Catalog's chief operating officer for seven years, Erdoswas named president and CEO in the latter part of 2009. As the gatekeeper of the brand and an advocate of driving customer engagement, Erdos is responsible for leading the team to deliver progressive growth across all channels — retail, catalog and digital. Erdos was previously with J.Crew before joining Sundance Catalog in 1993.
TIP: It all starts with engaging the team across the organization with your brand attributes — i.e., the differentiating qualities that ultimately drive customer engagement and loyalty. Lead with a well-defined and integrated approach to enable the team to be successful. Never lose sight of the customer. Listen to what she's telling you, watch where she gravitates towards and stay in front of her at every touchpoint. Earn credibility with your customer by being consistent, yet never stagnant. Be true to the brand and never deviate, yet always offer what's fresh, new and unexpected.
Debbie Ferrée, Vice Chairman and Chief Merchandising Officer, DSW
Debbie Ferrée currently serves as the vice chairman and chief merchandising officer of Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW). Ferrée joined DSW in October 1997. She served as president and chief merchandising officer from November 2004 to January 2006, and as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer from March 2002 until November 2004. Prior to that, Ferrée served as senior vice president of merchandising beginning in September 2000, and vice president of merchandising beginning in October 1997.
TIP: Put the customer first and deliver a consistent and seamless experience across your brand — assortment, convenience and value — at every touchpoint.
Elizabeth Hui von der Goltz, Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, Bergdorf Goodman
Elizabeth Hui von der Goltz is the senior vice president, general merchandise manager, at Bergdorf Goodman, and is responsible for fine apparel, designer sportswear, bridal, coats, lingerie, swimwear and jewelry. Hui von der Goltz joined Bergdorf Goodman in 2000 as a buyer, advanced designer. Prior to Bergdorf Goodman, she held positions at Barneys New York and Henri Bendel.
TIP: Retail is about the ultimate experience for your customer. Across all channels of a company, the customer should experience exceptional service while they're discovering the newest as well as latest and greatest in fashion and beauty. Always move your customer forward into the future by showing them new items and bringing them the best customer experiences, with communication spanning all channels — online, in-store, print and social media.