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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews