There’s a new boss for plus sizes at the Ascena Retail Group Inc.
Eric Hunter has been named president of Ascena’s plus fashion segment, which includes the Lane Bryant, Catherines and Cacique retail brands.
Hunter, who was executive vice president of marketing for Pier 1 Imports since 2013, succeeds Linda Heasley, who left a year ago to run HoneyBaked Ham Co.
Earlier, Hunter was senior vice president and acting chief marketing officer for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and prior to that, he was chief marketing officer and group president with Kellwood Co. He also worked at PMK/HBH/Momentum and Creative Artists Agency.
“Eric’s broad experience and focus on the customer makes him well-equipped to take on this essential leadership position,” said Gary Muto, president and chief executive officer of Ascena brands.
David Jaffe, chairman and ceo of the Ascena Retail Group, said the company conducted a “comprehensive search process,” adding that Hunter has “a track record of strong leadership, vision and strategy both inside and outside of retail that make him uniquely qualified to lead our plus fashion segment into the future.”
Hunter will have his work cut out for him, considering the disappointing holiday performance for the plus-size operation. For the holiday period from Nov. 18 to Jan. 1, comparable sales at the plus-size fashion group were down 2 percent. Specifically, comparable sales at Lane Bryant were flat and Catherines was down 7 percent.