By  on September 23, 2008

Sue Walsh, former vice president of stores for Pottery Barn, has joined The Talbots Inc. as senior vice president of stores for the J. Jill brand.

Walsh, 46, is responsible for the sales and operations of J. Jill’s more than 280 stores. She reports to J. Jill president Paula Bennett.

Walsh replaces Bob Bakin, who left this year. A 25-year retail veteran whose expertise is in store operations, Walsh had an almost 13-year tenure at Williams-Sonoma Inc. Her most recent position was vice president of stores for Pottery Barn, where she was responsible for the operation and profitability of 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Before Williams-Sonoma, Walsh served as district manager of Contempo Casuals and department manager of Bradlees.

Walsh “brings a strong track record of success in designing and implementing sales generation, merchandising and customer service training programs that have delivered meaningful operational and financial returns,” Bennett said.

Bennett added that Walsh’s “success in integrating corporate and field leadership teams will be instrumental” as J. Jill seeks to build its brand.

During the second quarter ended Aug. 2, J. Jill’s retail sales declined to $74 million from $80 million in the comparable 2007 quarter, and were down 13.2 percent on a same-store basis.

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