BOSTON — Kmart has tapped another former Gap executive in its quest to fill its top management ranks.
John Goodman, 39, will start in January as senior vice president and chief apparel officer, a new position, reporting to Kmart president and chief executive officer Julian Day. Goodman stepped down as the head of Gap Inc.’s outlet division last week, after an 11-year run with the specialty retailer. Gap is looking for his replacement, a spokeswoman confirmed.
At Kmart, Goodman will be back in company with Lisa Schultz, recently hired as the discounter’s senior vice president and chief creative officer and a 14-year Gap veteran herself. One former Gap executive said that Goodman and Schultz did not work closely together in their previous jobs, however.
Kmart also announced Monday it has hired James Donlon as senior vice president and chief financial officer, reporting to Day.
Donlon, formerly senior vice president and controller at Daimler Chrysler Corp., fills a post that’s been vacant since John McDonald left in 2002.
In a statement that referred obliquely to legal woes of some former Kmart executives, Day said Donlon had the “personal integrity to set the appropriate tone at the top we require from our senior management team.”
Goodman’s title — chief apparel officer — puzzled a few observers, who were expecting Kmart to name a chief merchant to lead the company’s total buying operations. The Troy, Mich.-based discounter has been searching for months to fill that role, but Day may have decided to redefine the position when he tapped Goodman.
Specifics on Goodman’s responsibilities, where he will be based, or whether Kmart will still name a chief merchant were unavailable at press time.
Tierney Remick, managing director of Korn/Ferry International’s retail and consumer products practice, said the chief apparel title is “narrower” than a chief merchant title. “It would be consistent with [Goodman’s] background and it would put hardlines — which are a big deal for Kmart — under someone else.”
Remick speculated that if Kmart abandons its quest for a chief merchant and brings in a hard-goods specialist at the same level with Goodman then ceo Day might retain some decision-making power that would normally go to the chief merchant.“That may not be a bad thing,” Remick reflected.
It’s also unclear whether Goodman will work from Manhattan with Schultz in the retailer’s recently leased design offices or whether he’ll be in Troy, Mich., where the buying teams are based. The retailer has yet to release the address of the new Manhattan offices.
Kmart is also looking for a divisional vice president of ladies wear, a post that’s been vacant since Michael Lewis left the company in October.
In a statement, Day commended Goodman on an “outstanding track record of success. His considerable experience and success as an apparel merchant, coupled with the design talents that chief creative officer Lisa Schultz has brought to Kmart, will allow us to provide our customers with the fashion and value they want and deserve.”
As senior vice president at Gap, Goodman oversaw 220 doors comprised of Gap and Old Navy outlet stores and Banana Republic Factory stores, a Gap spokeswoman confirmed.
The San Francisco-based retailer does not break out the volume of its outlet business, but based on the estimates of a former Gap executive, the outlets may be commanding a $3 billion annual volume.
Elaine Hughes, president of executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co., said by bringing two Gap veterans on board, Kmart is lining up executives who know how to operate and think vertically, taking product from concept to store floor.
“They now have got two senior people who know how to create product and a point of view,” Hughes noted. “That’s the whole issue with Kmart — they need a point-of-view and a reason to be.”
As reported, Schultz, whose background is in product design, has been weeding out Kmart’s apparel assortments and cleaning up the department for a more aesthetically pleasing shopping experience.
With his experience running the outlets, Goodman should bring both analytic and merchandising skills, said Hughes.
“It’s not just about getting rid of merchandise, but developing [new goods] for that outlet concept,” she noted. “There is also an important price-value equation. Consumers need to believe they’re getting something that looks like it was in a Gap store, yet at a cheaper price.”
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