Sears, Roebuck & Co.’s top apparel executive, Craig Israel, has left the company.

This story first appeared in the December 15, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Israel was president of apparel and recently began reporting to John Goodman, who last month joined Sears Holding Corp., the parent of Sears and Kmart, as executive vice president of apparel and home, a new post.

A spokesman for Sears said Monday that with Israel’s departure, Goodman will serve as interim leader of the Sears apparel business until a successor is found. Goodman is also serving as interim president of Kmart Apparel until a permanent officer is named to that post.

Earlier in his career, Israel was a top merchant with the former May Department Stores Co. and led some of its divisions, including Robinsons-May and Kaufmann’s. He also worked at Lord & Taylor, L.A. Ayres and Sibley’s, among other chains.

Turnover hasn’t helped Sears Holdings’ performance. But in the third-quarter losses narrowed largely due to expense cutting. The company has cut selling and administrative expenses by $373 million this year. On an operating basis, Sears stores in Canada were the company’s only profitable division in the third quarter, with income of $89 million. Kmart reported operating losses of $72 million, and the Sears U.S. unit recorded losses of $123 million.

Analysts have pointed out Sears has not put enough money into its stores or apparel to turn around the business.

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