NEW YORK — Michael Bloom has left his post as president and chief operating officer of Family Dollar Stores Inc.
After reporting first-quarter 2014 results on Thursday morning, the dollar-store chain stated Bloom will “pursue other interests.”
Net sales for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 increased 3.2 percent to $2.5 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales for the same 13-week period declined 2.8 percent as a result of decreased customer transactions and a slight drop in the average customer transaction value. Gross profit for the quarter increased 3.6 percent to $856.8 million, or 34.3 percent of net sales, compared with $826.8 million, or 34.1 percent of net sales, in the year-ago period.
“Since joining Family Dollar in 2011, Mike has been a valued part of our team,” stated Howard Levine, Family Dollar chairman and chief executive officer. “We appreciate his contributions to the company and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” Family Dollar had no further comment.
Bloom joined Family Dollar in September 2011 from his post as executive vice president of merchandising and supply chain at CVS, replacing R. James Kelly, who retired. Sources said he had a five-year contract.
Family Dollar also elevated Jason Reiser to the role of executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. Reiser joined Family Dollar in July 2013 as senior vice president of merchandising after a 17-year career with Sam’s Club. He was promoted in October to the role of senior vice president and lead merchandising officer.
Several beauty manufacturers were surprised to hear of Bloom’s departure, noting that under his watch the chain has moved more deeply into branded beauty. Bloom also expanded its penetration of private-label products, increased direct imports and added more food and tobacco.
Beyond the lackluster results, some industry observers said the dollar industry is changing, calling for logistics experts rather than merchants.
“With 8,000 units you really have to be a master of distribution, something competitor Dollar General has done well,” said one source.
Industry consultant Allan Mottus added the industry has become crowded, with more competition from not only other value retailers, but also discounters such as Wal-Mart. At the same time, dollar stores have filled in as grocery stores in smaller markets. “The business is calling for new thinking,” he added.
Bloom recently made headlines in his efforts to understand his chain from top to bottom with an appearance on the CBS reality series “Undercover Boss,” where he was “fired” for having difficulties working in the warehouse.