Does Gap have its man?Gap Inc.'s search for a new chief executive has been long and difficult. Nevertheless, sources in the past week have indicated that the Gap search goes outside the U.S. and into the mass arena — and is likely down to a couple of candidates.Although he seems like a long shot, one candidate is believed to be Glenn Murphy, former chairman and chief executive of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., Canada's leading drugstore retailer. The 45-year-old Murphy is not a fashion merchant, but he did a stellar job turning around the drugstore chain, elevating its offerings with upscale makeup and cosmetics, among other products, and which at around $8 billion in sales is of a scale that would give the $16 billion Gap some comfort. He's said to be aligned with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which owned Shoppers Drug Mart and took it public while Murphy steered the ship."He's highly regarded, came out of Loblaws, and has a track record for creating value," said a source in Canada. "He completely understood the makeup and cosmetics categories, which are higher-margin businesses. He knows those categories brilliantly and was spectacular working with vendors." He also led the development of a lot of private label, enlarged the footprint of the drug stores, and instituted an advanced customer relations management system. "He really optimized the relationship with the customer."Gap requires someone with an almost impossible-to-find blend of turnaround skills, vision and fashion savvy. The handful of fashion retailers in the U.S. that could fit the bill are said to be either generously compensated and content with their current employers, impeded by noncompete clauses, near retirement age or just not willing to take on the monumental task of reviving Gap Inc. and its Gap and Old Navy brands. The Banana Republic division is the least troubled."Gap needs to deflate the bubble and inflate with a new paradigm," said the source.Murphy joined Shoppers Drug Mart in 2001 and left the company earlier this year.Prior to that, Murphy had a 14-year career with Loblaw Companies Ltd., which operates the Loblaws supermarkets in Canada. He held numerous senior management roles of increasing responsibility.In 1999, Loblaw acquired the Provigo grocery chain and Murphy oversaw the integration of the two businesses.He was born in Montreal and is bilingual. He could not be reached for comment. Some analysts mention the possibility Gap might stick with Robert J. Fisher, who is acting president and acting ceo and son of Gap founder Donald Fisher. However, when former Gap president and ceo Paul Pressler resigned in January, and Robert Fisher stepped up, Fisher said it was not his intention to stay permanently in the role.Last January, Gap said the search committee's preference is to focus on a ceo who has "deep retailing and merchandising experience, ideally in apparel; understands the creative process, and can effectively execute strategies in large, complex environments while maintaining strong financial discipline."Egon Zehnder, an international search firm, is working with Gap to find the ceo.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)