By  on June 18, 2012

Nordstrom Inc. plugged a big hole in its team of merchants by promoting Tricia Smith to executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s apparel.

Smith, who was corporate merchandise manager for the BP. teen girls’ department, succeeds Loretta Soffe, who left in January. In 2011, Nordstrom’s business overall was strong, though there was softness in certain women’s categories.

Smith will oversee the team, covering all buying functions for women’s clothing, including the coats, dresses, Encore, Petite Focus, Narrative, Studio 121, Point of View, Individualist, Savvy and t.b.d. departments. Nordstrom organizes its women’s clothing by lifestyle and occasion.

Smith joined the company in 1988 as a salesperson in the BP. department at Nordstrom in Brea, Calif. She held various department management and buying positions until 2006, when she became divisional merchandise manager for BP. Later, she was named national merchandise manager for coats and dresses and helped lead the launch of the company’s wedding-suite offering across divisions. In 2010, Smith became corporate merchandise manager for BP. and kids’ wear.

Nordstrom cited her “strong collaborative partnership with Nordstrom Product Group and new suppliers such as Peek…Aren’t You Curious and other brands to reposition the kids’ wear offering while driving full-line store sales increases and explosive online growth. Additionally, Smith has led strong results in BP. and further strengthened the department’s position as the teen girls’ destination for on-trend clothes and accessories.”

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