NEW YORK — Thinking outside the box, Sears, Roebuck and Co. has called upon the Colonel for some help at its stores.
The struggling retailer on Monday named Mark S. Cosby as president of the Sears full-line department stores, a new position embodying a range of responsibilities. Cosby joins the $41 billion Sears on Dec. 1 from KFC, USA, based in Louisville, where he was chief operating officer since 2000, leading company and franchise operations for the 5,300-unit restaurant chain, formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Sears has been trying to enliven its 870 department stores with better soft-line assortments. It acquired Lands’ End last June and introduced the Covington private label collection this fall, after months of weeding out weak performing lines, including cosmetics.
At one time, Sears chairman and chief executive officer, Alan Lacy, was seeking a new chief merchant, but with the appointment of Cosby, the formation of a top team for the full-line stores is believed to be completed.
Cosby, 43, will lead all aspects of the full-line store organization, including merchandise, operations and supply chain, and will report to Lacy. Reporting to Cosby will be three executive vice presidents and general managers: Mary Conway, full-line store operations; Kathy Bufano, softlines, and Lyle Heidemann, hardlines. Gus Pagonis, senior vice president of supply chain management, also will report to Cosby.
"For some time, Alan was looking for someone to head retail, but he wasn’t looking for a particular retail expertise. He was looking for the right individual, with experience leading a national, consumer-driven business with intense brand recognition and brand development," said a Sears spokeswoman.
"Mark’s appointment fulfills my objective to bring all aspects of the full-line stores under the leadership of a dynamic and experienced executive with proven successes in strategy and operations at leading national, consumer-driven companies," said Lacy in a statement.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
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The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
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Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion