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Cosmetic Retailing Veteran, Margo Scavarda, Dies at 85

Best known for heading up the cosmetics division at the now-defunct California retailer The Broadway, Scavarda passed away due to Alzheimer's disease.

Marguerite “Margo” Scavarda, who was the longtime senior vice president and general merchandise manager of cosmetics at the now-defunct Los Angeles-based retailer The Broadway, died last week at the age of 85.

According to Scavarda’s sister Michelle Oyler, the beauty retail veteran passed away due to Alzheimer’s disease at her home in Palm Desert, California.

Born in Los Angeles, Scavarda obtained an internship at The Broadway in 1955 as a 17-year-old high school graduate and shortly thereafter embarked on a 40-year tenure at the retailer, which would eventually mint her as a magnate in West Coast cosmetics retailing.

When The Broadway was acquired by Macy’s Inc. (which was then known as Federated Department Stores) in 1995, Scavarda played an “invaluable” role in merging the organizations, according to Michael Steinberg, the then-chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s West, who praised her “expertise in the cosmetics industry and vast knowledge of the former Broadway locations” in a 1997 interview with WWD.

Scavarda stepped down from her role at Macy’s in 1997 to become an independent consultant for beauty brands and retailers.

Said Oyler of her late sister, “Margo’s proudest accomplishment of her career was being a mentor, specifically to women. She came up during that ‘Mad Men’-esque corporate era in the ’60s, and she never saw her gender as an impediment to her career advancement.”