Lord & Taylor has hired Brian Hoke as senior vice president and chief merchant, WWD has learned.
It’s the department store’s second senior-level hire since Vanessa LeFebvre was named president in May.
“Brian is a seasoned and innovative merchant who will lead the charge in shaping our merchandising approach,” said LeFebvre.
Hoke was formerly group vice president and divisional merchandise manager of men’s sportswear, active and seasonal at Macy’s.
According to LeFebvre, Hoke was at Macy’s for 13 years. He held senior roles across the merchandising function and developed “deep knowledge” in housewares, men’s, women’s shoes and fragrances. Prior to Macy’s, Hoke was a buyer for Value City department stores. He started his career at Lord & Taylor as a buyer for men’s furnishings and tailored clothing. “His history with the brand coupled with his passion for where we are going will help pave our path forward,” LeFebvre said.
Hoke officially joins Lord & Taylor on Monday, and succeeds David Law who is leaving the company in mid-August.
Results at Lord & Taylor have been disappointing for several seasons. In June, the company announced that the Fifth Avenue flagship would close by early next year. Ten other Lord & Taylor store closings were also announced.
Nevertheless, officials say Lord & Taylor is continuing to evolve, noting that the store has “reorganized” its merchandising structure involving shifting some of the responsibilities between the buying and planning teams to best support the business. They also cite the 37,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the Manhasset, N.Y., branch which will be complete in September and showcase new brands and a contemporary, glass-enclosed entrance. That store opened in 1941 and was the first department store to open a branch.
In addition, Lord & Taylor is establishing a digital “flagship” on walmart.com. It’s an attempt by Walmart to elevate its fashion appeal and for Lord & Taylor to reach a much broader audience. Premium brands from Lord & Taylor have been phased into walmart.com. The merchandise is sold and shipped by Lord & Taylor.