Vera Bradley Inc. named John Enwright as its new chief financial officer, becoming the latest in a line of retailers and brands that have recently brought on new cfos.
Enwright came to Vera Bradley in 2014 as its senior director of corporate financial planning after spending 15 years in financial roles at Tiffany & Co. and is now replacing Kevin Sierks, who exited Vera Bradley at the end of March. Sierks now serves as cfo of Crate & Barrel.
Vera Bradley chief executive officer Robert Wallstrom said Enwright “has proven himself to be not only financially astute but also strategic and forward thinking” in his time with the company.
“John’s expertise and leadership will be critical as we continue to navigate through this challenging retail environment and work to make Vera Bradley a more profitable organization,” Wallstrom added.
The company is set to reveal its second-quarter results in late August, after first-quarter results showed a net loss of $4 million on a precipitous decline in comparable store as well as online sales, leading it to close 15 stores.
Vera Bradley joins the likes of Neiman Marcus Group, J.C. Penney Co., Nordstrom Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Hudson’s Bay Co., Kirkland’s Inc. and Christopher & Banks in losing or gaining a new cfo. All of those companies have seen the position emptied and filled in the last two months, in some instances because of retirement, but moves are likely due to the financial pressure retail is facing right now.
After Penney’s said last week that its cfo Edward Record would be “pursuing other interests” come Aug. 7, Adelle Kirk, senior vice president at Kirk Palmer Associates, pointed out how “exhausting” the position has become in recent years.
“Fashion retail is incredibly challenging right now,” Kirk said. “Margins are declining. Costs are getting squeezed out of the system and that’s taking a toll on the cfo.”
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