NEW YORK -- Bradlees Inc., facing intense competition and disappointing sales, named Mark A. Cohen chairman and chief executive officer, succeeding Barry Berman.
The company, which announced Aug. 30 that a new ceo was being sought, said Friday that Berman will stay with the 136-unit discounter in a role that has yet to be determined.
Cohen resigned last week as chairman and ceo of the 51-unit Lazarus division of Federated Department Stores. He joined Bradlees on Saturday.
"Cohen's background is absolutely on the money for this job," said Robert Kerson of Levy, Kerson, Aronson & Associates, the consulting and search firm. "In its heyday in the Eighties, Bradlees' ready-to-wear business prospered because the store was run with a department store mentality with such ceos as Harry Kohn and Hal Frank. They had backgrounds with Macy's and Abraham & Straus."
Kerson, noting Berman's background is primarily in supermarkets, said Cohen would bring a fresh approach to Bradlees. "The stores need updating, a new ready-to-wear strategy and distinction."
Cohen has been a Federated executive since 1987, and from 1981 to 1987, was with Mervyn's, where his last job was senior executive vice president of merchandising. At Lazarus, based in Cincinnati, he led an aggressive renovation program and established a planner distributor organization. Both programs served as models for other Federated divisions.
Jeremiah J. Sullivan, president of Lazarus, will assume Cohen's responsibilities over the merchandising organization, in addition to his other duties. A search for a new ceo will begin after Christmas.
It is believed that Bradlees is compensating Cohen better than Federated did. In the past year, a number of Federated division heads have left their posts for higher-paying jobs at other chains. Robert DiNicola left The Bon to join Zale Corp., Carl Tooker left Rich's to head up Specialty Retailers, and Roger Farah left Federated Merchandising for Macy's. There has also been speculation that Federated, which is merging with Macy's, could convert the $965 million Lazarus and other divisions to Macy's, possibly cutting some management. Federated says it has not made a decision on changing store names. Berman joined Bradlees in 1990 as senior vice president of merchandising, after spending 23 years with the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., the discounter's former parent company. At Bradlees, he rose to president and chief operating officer in April 1991 and chairman and ceo in 1992.In mid-1992, Stop & Shop spun Bradlees off in a public offering and the discounter began working to lower operating costs and increase profits. But in 1993 operating earnings fell to $13.5 million, from $25.3 million in 1992. Sales rose 3 percent to $1.88 billion; same-store sales inched up 1 percent. In the second quarter of this year, Bradlees reported earnings of $600,000, compared with a loss of $4.95 million in the year-ago period, but sales remained sluggish, rising only 0.5 percent. The situation was complicated by the resignation of Herbert R. Douglas, senior vice president of merchandising, on Aug. 29 -- one day before Bradlees said it would seek a new ceo. Douglas became president and ceo of Jamesway.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion