Bebe Names New Chief Merchandising Officer

Continuing to rebuild its top management, the retailer tapped Katrina Glusac to succeed Renee Bell, who left three weeks ago.

Bebe Stores Inc., continuing to rebuild its top management, on Tuesday named Katrina Glusac chief merchandising officer, succeeding Renee Bell, who left three weeks ago.

This story first appeared in the April 3, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Glusac will lead the merchandising, visual merchandising and planning and allocations teams and report to Steve Birkhold, who has been chief executive officer since January. Glusac will also work closely with Brigitte Bogart, who in February was appointed executive vice president of design and product development. Last December, Ben Baum joined as chief digital officer.

“We’re constantly attracting new talent,” Birkhold said in an interview. He also disclosed that a new senior vice president of marketing, and a new executive vice president and general manager of the 2b division will be revealed in a few weeks. Both spots are vacant.

Asked why Bell departed, Birkhold explained, “The scope of the position has changed dramatically. Katrina has the skill set to take us to the next level.”

Birkhold said he’s rebuilding the Bebe brand so it “reemerges as a market leader in the young, contemporary market and as a trendsetter, not a brand that follows trends.”

Glusac has more than 20 years of experience in product development and product management for contemporary and e-commerce brands. She was most recently chief merchant and vice president of merchandising at Shoedazzle.com, where she formed a new merchandising, design and planning team, improved sell-throughs and leveraged technology and data-driven marketing to increase sales. Earlier, Glusac was divisional vice president and general merchandise manager at Guess Inc., where she conceptualized and helped launch the Marciano division. Glusac has also held senior merchandising positions at Arden B., where she worked with Bogart, and Charlotte Russe Inc.

“With an exceptional track record in elevating the performance of prominent contemporary brands, Katrina will be instrumental in helping us develop a merchandising strategy to reflect today’s fashion-focused and digitally savvy customer,” Birkhold said.

Bebe designs, develops and produces contemporary women’s apparel and accessories under its Bebe, Bebe Sport, bbsp and 2b bebe brand names. The company operates 191 Bebe stores, bebe.com, 53 2b bebe stores and 2bstores.com.