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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty