John Goodman, the well-traveled retailer who was most recently chief executive officer of Charlotte Russe Holding Corp. in the months leading up to its acquisition by Advent International Corp., has rejoined Sears Holdings Corp. as executive vice president of apparel and home, a new post. He will also serve as interim president of Kmart Apparel until a permanent officer is named to that post.
This story first appeared in the November 10, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sears said Goodman will be based in San Francisco and establish an office there for the company along the lines of the design office set up in Manhattan three years ago.
He reports to Bruce Johnson, interim president and ceo of Sears. Craig Israel, president of Sears Apparel, and Doug Wurl, vice president and general merchandise manager of home for Sears and Kmart, will report to Goodman, as will a to-be-named head of Kmart’s apparel operations.
An 11-year veteran of Gap Inc. and former head of its outlet stores, Goodman served as senior vice president and chief apparel officer of Kmart beginning in December 2003 and left to join Levi Strauss & Co. as president of the U.S. Dockers business in mid-2005, just after Sears and Kmart merged.
He became ceo of Mervyns in March 2008, staying on through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in July 2008 and subsequent liquidation, and joined Charlotte Russe in December. He left the firm last month following its acquisition by Advent for $380 million.
Despite a number of successes, such as Lands’ End, apparel has been a tough business for the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears. Last year, as corporate same-store sales fell 8 percent, Kmart’s apparel business fell in the midsingle digits while Sears’ weathered a low-double-digit decline. In the first half of the current fiscal year, comparable-store apparel sales are down in the high-single digits at Kmart and, as was the case last year, the low-double digits at Sears.