NEW YORK — Hudson’s Bay Co.’s $2.9 billion takeover of Saks Inc. is set to close Monday and personnel changes are already sweeping through the retailer.
Saks shareholders signed off on the deal Wednesday morning at a special meeting at the University Club here. Later in the day, outgoing chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Sadove detailed a raft of high-level departures in an internal memo obtained by WWD.
Among those leaving is Robert Wallstrom, executive vice president and president of Saks Off 5th, who sources said will become ceo of Vera Bradley, the $540 million multichannel company selling colorful accessories, handbags, luggage, eyewear, travel items and gifts. Before running Off 5th, Wallstrom managed the Saks Fifth Avenue Manhattan flagship. RELATED STORY: Hudson's Bay Co. Taps Michael Crotty and Russ Hardin >>
Also headed for the exit are Denise Incandela, EVP and chief marketing officer; Terron Schaefer, EVP and chief creative officer; Kevin Wills, EVP and chief financial officer; Michael Rodgers, EVP and chief information and operations officer; Mike Brizel, EVP and general counsel; Chris Morena, EVP of human resources, and Julia Bentley, senior vice president of investor relations and communications.
Now the focus shifts to Richard Baker, Hudson’s Bay’s governor and ceo, who has his team lined up and his plan laid out.
“With the addition of Saks Fifth Avenue, we will begin an exciting new era for HBC,” Baker said in a statement. “By uniting Saks, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, we are creating a platform built upon three brands with a rich heritage in retailing….We plan to invest in the growth potential of each brand and category. And we will unlock the tremendous potential of the company’s world-class real estate assets.”
All together, Baker will oversee a retail empire with 320 doors, including 179 full-line department stores, 72 outlet stores and 69 home stores.
While Saks will remain headquartered in New York, Hudson’s Bay plans to expand the banner to Canada with as many as seven full-line stores over the next several years.
Marigay McKee of Harrods will become president of Saks on Jan. 6.
According to Sadove’s memo, three members of Saks’ current executive committee are expected to stay on board, including EVP of stores Jennifer de Winter, who was promoted to chief merchandising officer; Michael Burgess, president of Saks Direct, and Keith Campbell, group SVP of merchandise planning.
Liz Rodbell will become president of the HBC Department Store Group, including Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, on Feb. 1. Both McKee and Rodbell will report to the office of the chairman, which includes Baker and the company’s chief operating officer Don Watros.
Bonnie Brooks will also become vice chairman of the company on Feb. 1 and will continue to advise the office of the chairman and the board of directors.
The Saks shareholder meeting was a largely pro forma event that lasted less than 10 minutes and was attended mostly by the retailer’s management and lawyers. Shareholders were able to vote by proxy, and 99.4 percent of the total votes cast were in favor of the deal.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)