Mike Nemoir, a men’s wear fixture at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and its predecessor companies for more than four decades, will retire on March 28.
The senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and home has been with the company for 45 years, starting his career in the Milwaukee offices of the Boston Store on Sept. 9, 1968 as a trainee assistant buyer after graduating from Marquette University. Over the course of his career, Nemoir has been sales area manager, buyer, divisional sales manager and divisional merchandise manager; he was named gmm in 1995. Over the years, the company has gone through six ownership and name changes but Nemoir said that despite all the “acquisitions, sales and purges, I’ve survived and never left the building.” Over the years, the business has also operated under the names PA Bergner, Carson Pirie Scott, Proffitt’s, Saks Inc. and then Bon-Ton, which acquired the company in 2006.
Brendan Hoffman, chief executive officer of Bon-Ton, recalled that when he joined the company in early 2012 and did a “roundtable” with the staff, “Mike said he’d been with the company longer than I’d been alive. Well, I had him by two months,” he said.
Hoffman called Nemoir a “fixture” and “a pleasant guy to be around,” and someone “the market rallied around.”
He said that since Nemoir gave the company over three months notice of his departure, Bon-Ton will take some time to decide on a replacement. “There are some good internal candidates and we’ll most likely go that route,” he said. “Mike has done a good job mentoring people.” He said he may decide to split the merchandising for men’s and home, but that has not been determined. “We just have to get through this holiday season first,” Hoffman said.
Nemoir said he expects to spend time with his three children and eight grandchildren upon his retirement and will also travel, first to Scotland and Italy in 2014 and then Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
Will he miss retailing? “I’m not sure I’ll miss the business, but people is what really make a business thrive, and I will miss the people.”