A day after buying Hudson's Bay Co., NRDC Equity Partners moved to put its stamp on top management.
Jeffrey Sherman, former president of Bloomingdale's and former president and chief operating officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Retail, was named chief executive officer of Hudson's Bay. He will be responsible for all of the retail operations, which include The Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Fields. Sherman, a 38-year retailing veteran, succeeds Robert Johnston.
He intends to make changes quickly. "The first order of priority is to make sure we provide separate and independent leadership for The Bay and Zellers," Sherman said in an interview. "Previously, there was combined organization that serviced both brands simultaneously. We are setting up the leadership for each, and then we will work through the process of providing them with organizational structure."
Sherman said new leaders should be in place in about two months. "I am on a very fast track. There is a sense of urgency that's not artificial."
The announcement Thursday confirmed a WWD report.
NRDC purchased Toronto-based Hudson's Bay, which operates entirely in Canada, for more than $1.1 billion on Wednesday, industry sources said.
NRDC owns Lord & Taylor, Fortunoff and Creative Design Studio, and wants to expand L&T to Canada. A new holding company, called The Hudson's Bay Trading Co., was formed as the umbrella for all the divisions.
Sherman, 60, "will bring a wealth of retailing expertise to the Canadian retail marketplace," said Richard Baker, ceo of NRDC Equity, and also the new governor of Hudson's Bay. The title of governor is the Canadian equivalent of being chairman.
Other key appointments at Hudson's Bay are expected soon, including new divisional merchant heads to oversee The Bay and Zellers divisions.
Sherman departed from Polo Ralph Lauren in June. He was responsible for overseeing operations of the company's global owned retail stores in the U.S., Europe and Asia; the global Polo outlet division; Rugby; Club Monaco, and ralphlauren.com.
Previously, Sherman was ceo of the Limited Stores specialty chain. Before that, he was president and chief operating officer of Bloomingdale's, where he worked for 30 years. He then became chairman and ceo of the Federated Direct unit before joining Limited.
"I've learned a lot from Michael, Les, Roger and Ralph about what a great retail store looks like," Sherman said, referring to Michael Gould, ceo of Bloomingdale's; Les Wexner, ceo of Limited Brands; Roger Farah, president of Polo Ralph Lauren, and Ralph Lauren.
"There's this maniacal focus on the customer. That's what Hudson's Bay needs — that passion for the customer. We really need to understand the customer expectations of the Hudson's Bay brands." Changing the look and content of the stores with different brands and presentations would come after researching the Canadian consumer.
Asked how The Bay and Zellers stores are performing, Sherman replied: "They are doing OK. They look good. They have been managed effectively. The focus has not been on running great retail stores. They have been [focused] on running good stores, not great ones. There is a difference. The objective of Richard and I is to really move the needle and recapture market share and bring back the heritage of both of these brands, which, at the moment, are not at their heritage level."
He also said the stores have been trying to be "too much to too many people."
The $7 billion Hudson's Bay Co. is Canada's largest diversified general merchandise retailer, with more than 580 retail outlets and almost 60,000 associates.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast