Macy’s Inc. has reorganized its Macy’s team in an effort to accelerate the pace of change, intensify data analysis capability and streamline the structure.
In the top two executive changes, Hal Lawton has been named president of the Macy’s division, and Jeff Kantor was named head of Macy’s merchandising.
Macy’s Inc. chief executive officer Jeff Gennette told WWD in an interview late Monday afternoon, “The two big changes are the appointment of a president, Hal Lawton — he’s got this deep experience at the intersection of technology and retail. And second, we are massively simplifying our approach to merchandising with structural and talent changes. We are combining three organizations — merchandising planning, private brands and merchandising national brands — into one, with one single leader, Jeff Kantor.
“We will accelerate our progress and get Macy’s winning again,” he added.
Lawton, formerly senior vice president of eBay North America, will join Macy’s on Sept. 8 and assume responsibility for all aspects of the Macy’s brand, including merchandising, marketing, stores, operations, technology, and consumer insights and analytics. He will report to Gennette, who has relinquished the president’s title to Lawton. Before eBay, Lawton worked at Home Depot and McKinsey & Co.
As a result of combining the three organizations, about 100 employees will lose their jobs, including Tim Baxter, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, whose last day will be Sept. 6.
“Tim is an exceptional merchant,” Gennette said. “He has made many contributions to Macy’s over this 26 year career and I know he will continue to have an impact on American fashion and retail.” Gennette said details of other executive departures will be disclosed at a later date to allow time for discussions with their teams and family members.
The $25.8 billion Macy’s Inc. expects to save about $30 million annually, some of which may be used for reinvestment in the business. Macy’s anticipates savings of about $5 million, or 1 cent per share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is additive to previously provided earnings guidance.
The company anticipates one-time costs of about $20 million to $25 million associated with this restructuring, to be booked primarily in the third quarter of this year.
At eBay, Lawton supervised the company’s Americas business unit and oversaw a period of “sustained, sequential performance improvement,” Macy’s said. At Home Depot, as senior vice president for merchandising, Lawton was responsible for jumpstarting homedepot.com and building it into a nearly $2 billion business, Macy’s noted. Gennette characterized Lawton as “very tech savvy. He knows how to operate change at scale and will help us move faster.” Initially, Lawton will be focused on “full integration of digital and mobile across the entire customer journey.”
Kantor, a 35-year Macy’s veteran in merchandising and stores who also once oversaw macys.com, was most recently chief stores and human resources officer. He will report to Lawton.
Reporting to Kantor will be five executives given the title of general business managers. Each will oversee one family of business.
Stephen Moore, most recently Macy’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager for center core, will manage center core.
Mark Stocker, formerly Macy’s general planning manager in center core, will manage the men’s business.
Patti Ongman, a 40-year Macy’s veteran and formerly chief planning officer, will manage the home business.
Nata Dvir will oversee the beauty business. She was senior vice president of planning for beauty. Macy’s said Dvir has been “pivotal” in shifting the beauty business model from brand-centric to customer-centric” by creating a more open environment to remove barriers between customers and products, cross-brand training for associates, enhanced customer experiences and edited assortments.
Molly Langenstein, a 30-year Macy’s veteran, will oversee ready-to-wear. She most recently oversaw private brands.
Cassandra Jones continues to oversee Macy’s fashion office.
“Macy’s best merchants will be in the right structure to operate at the speed of our customer and will be fueled by the power of data,” Gennette said. “The changes we are making today maintain our core merchandising skills while massively simplifying our structure and processes for greater speed and flexibility. We are also further strengthening our consumer insights and data analytics capabilities so we can make better decisions faster, balancing the art and science of retail.”
Currently, 29 percent of Macy’s merchandise is exclusive, including private brands and market brands that only Macy’s sells, or with limited distribution. “We plan to grow that offering to 40 percent of our business,” Gennette said. It’s expected to reach that level in a couple of years.
“Having a single lens for each family-of-business will allow us to expedite our strategy of delivering this edited, elevated and exclusive assortment to our best customers. To achieve this, we will aggressively grow our private brands while also offering the best national brands.”
Gennette also said the company will be changing its approach to pricing, which involved two different pyramids: strategy and execution. “We are now bringing that together, making more pricing decisions based on analytics and science. We believe it will drive more sales and improve margins.”
No changes were announced at other Macy’s Inc. divisions, which include Bloomingdale’s, Blue Mercury, Bloomingdale’s outlets and Macy’s Backstage off-price division.