Ross Stores Inc. has terminated Doug Baker, president and chief merchandising officer of its dd’s Discounts division.
Michael Balmuth, executive chairman, will oversee the unit while the company conducts a search for a successor.
A veteran of The TJX Cos. Inc.’s Marshalls division, Baker joined Ross in 1995 and became senior vice president and general merchandise manager of the dd’s operation in 2006, two years after it was founded.
He was promoted to executive vice president of merchandising in 2009 and to his most recent post in 2011.
“Looking ahead, we remain confident in the dd’s Discounts business model and excited about its growth prospects,” said Barbara Rentler, chief executive officer of Dublin, Calif.-based Ross. “Our store opening plans for dd’s Discounts are on track and we continue to believe that over time this business can become a chain of 500 locations from the 152 we operate today.”
The company’s Ross Stores provide off-price merchandise to moderate- and upper-income consumers while dd’s has targeted lower-income consumers with deep discounts on more moderate goods.
While Ross hasn’t broken down dd’s revenues in its previous financial reports, the division is dwarfed by the 1,214 locations operated by the namesake division. Estimates of dd’s volume average less than 10 percent of Ross’s corporate total of $10.2 billion in the year ended last January.
The company issued a press release reporting Baker’s departure. In a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said his employment had been terminated.