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SFA’s Decentralizing Leads to Hardin Exit

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is decentralizing store management, leading to executive changes. <BR><BR>Teri Hardin, a 20-year veteran of Saks Fifth Avenue who held the title of senior vice president and regional stores director, has left the...

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is decentralizing store management, leading to executive changes.

Teri Hardin, a 20-year veteran of Saks Fifth Avenue who held the title of senior vice president and regional stores director, has left the company. She is being succeeded by Kenzel Wilson, former vice president and U.S. brand manager of Façonnable.

Hardin said she departed because she did not want to be transferred to Chicago, where the Texas-Midwest region will be based, as part of the decentralization process. “Personal priorities require that I stay in the New York local area, and I have decided to leave Saks Fifth Avenue after 20 years to continue to pursue my career and managerial objectives,” Hardin said.

The regional store management has been based in New York for about 10 years, but the company has decided to restore regional offices in different cities for a more hands-on approach. Retailers centralize store operations when they want to cut costs, but many continue to operate regional offices, including Bloomingdale’s, which has four regions, and Nordstrom, which has 10 offices for store operations.

For the past six years, Hardin supervised the 16-unit Texas-Midwest region. Before that, she was vice president and director of merchandising women’s ready-to-wear at the Fifth Avenue flagship for three years. She began her career as a buyer for the former Sanger Harris chain in Texas, joined Saks in San Antonio as an assistant store manager, and served as a general manager in various locations, including Short Hills, N.J.; Tyson’s Corner, Va., and Chevy Chase, Md.

Before working with Façonnable, the French brand that in the U.S. is owned by Nordstrom, Wilson was a Nordstrom vice president and regional manager covering the state of Washington with responsibility for $550 million in annual sales in nine locations. He was previously a store manager for the Seattle flagship.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s West Coast regional store group has been shifted to the Beverly Hills store, where Tom Voltin, the former Beverly Hills general manager, was named in December as senior vice president for the West Coast region. The Southeast regional office will be in south Florida, with a decision on a city expected soon.

Regionals report to Carolyn Biggs, senior vice president and director of stores.