Belk Inc. took another step Wednesday in realigning its executive ranks with the promotion of Jan Clevenger to executive vice president and general merchandising manager of men’s, home and kids.
She succeeds David Zant, who was named president and chief merchandising officer of the Charlotte, N.C.-based 299-unit department store chain on July 31. Zant filled the vacancy created by the appointment of Kathryn Bufano as president and chief executive officer of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
Clevenger, who reports to Zant, has served as chair of Belk’s Western division, based in Birmingham, Ala., since March 2008. She began her retail career with Macy’s Inc. in 1984 and served as a buyer for men’s and center core before joining Belk in 2000 as division merchandise manager for accessories in the Southern division, and moving on to roles elsewhere at the retailer as dmm for men’s sportswear and senior vice president and director of stores in the Northern division.
Succeeding Clevenger as chair of the Western operation is David Luoma, who for the past three years has been senior vice president and director of stores for Belk’s Atlanta-based Southern division. In his new role, he reports to John Belk, president and chief operating officer.
“Jan and David are valued members of our executive team and each of them brings a wealth of talent and experience to their new positions,” said Tim Belk, chairman and ceo of Belk.
Belk, the largest privately held department store company in the U.S., saw sales rise 2.1 percent to $4.04 billion last year, with comparable-store sales up 2.9 percent. In the first quarter, sales were essentially flat while net income dropped 32 percent on the soft sales environment during the period and ongoing investments in technology. Online sales increased 42.4 percent in the first quarter.
Bufano, among the architects of Belk’s “Modern Southern Style” focus, joined a small group of female retail ceo’s with her appointment at Bon-Ton, which is effective Aug. 25. Bon-Ton, based in York, Pa., is a smaller business with a regional footprint but, unlike Belk, multiple nameplates. Bon-Ton’s 2013 sales were $2.77 billion.
Luoma’s retail résumé has been focused on store-management roles, including stints as general manager of Filene’s stores in Hyannis and Cambridge, Mass., and Albany, N.Y. He joined Belk in his most recent post following tenures as senior vice president and director of stores for Macy’s and May Department Stores Co.’s units in upstate New York and western Massachusetts and as district vice president and director of stores for Macy’s.
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