Macy’s Inc. has made two key management changes in an effort to spur growth and smoothly integrate new store formats.
Peter Sachse, formerly chief innovation and business development officer, has become chief growth officer, and Justin S. MacFarlane has joined as chief strategy, analytics and innovation officer.
In what amounts to a new position, Sachse will oversee all Macy’s merchandising, as well as the Macy’s Backstage off-price division, the Bluemercury beauty chain and international expansion. Macy’s Inc.’s international plans include opening a licensed Bloomingdale’s store in Kuwait in 2017; opening Macy’s first overseas unit, in Abu Dhabi in 2018, and an upcoming e-commerce site in China on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global. Macy’s Inc. made its first move overseas in 2010 by opening a licensed Bloomingdale’s store in Dubai.
Sachse will report to Macy’s Inc. president Jeff Gennette. Reporting to Sachse will be Tim Baxter, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, who continues to lead all omnichannel merchandising efforts and vendor relationships, as well as product and pricing strategies.
Also reporting to Sachse will be Tim Baxter, Macy’s chief merchandising officer; Bluemercury’s chief executive officer Marla Malcolm Beck, and chief operating officer Barry Beck, as well as Vanessa Lefebvre, senior vice president for the Macy’s Backstage off-price division, and Dustin Jones, newly appointed managing director of Macy’s China Limited.
“By having all of product reporting to Peter, who then reports to Jeff, we can look at the assortment of Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage and Bluemercury more holistically,” said Macy’s corporate spokesman Jim Sluzewski. “With Backstage and Bluemercury coming into the Macy stores, the idea is to bring as much integration of thinking together.”
Last year Macy’s purchased Bluemercury and opened four Bluemercury shops inside Macy’s stores. The plan is to have 40 Bluemercury shops operating inside Macy’s units over the next two years.
With Backstage, which launched last summer with six freestanding stores, the plan is to create 10 Backstage stores inside Macy’s locations this spring as well as 50 freestanding units over the next two years.
In the other senior-level change, MacFarlane will be responsible for Macy’s strategic development, consumer and customer research, data analysis, innovation and the development of future business opportunities. He will be a member of the executive committee. Previously he was senior vice president for corporate strategy at Ann Inc., which last year was purchased by the Ascena Retail Group.
The Sachse and MacFarlane appointments “will enable us to move farther and faster in stimulating profitable sales growth in our company,” Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc., said. Lundgren’s responsibilities remain unchanged, although Sachse now reports directly to Gennette instead of Lundgren. There are no departures occurring as a result of the executive changes.
“Peter Sachse now will lead the development of a holistic view of our businesses with expanded opportunities as we approach customers via stores, mobile and digital across Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage and Bluemercury,” Gennette said. “Justin MacFarlane will expand our capabilities in strategy development and execution while adding significant new expertise in our ongoing quest to understand and respond to consumer behavior, as well as analyze our deep reservoir of proprietary data about how, when, where and why customers are shopping — both today and as we look into the future.”
Bloomingdale’s remains a self-standing organization led by Tony Spring, chairman and chief executive officer, who reports to Lundgren.
Macy’s has been under pressure to reverse slumping sales, innovate with new growth strategies and generate greater productivity out of its department stores. The $28 billion retailer is also being pressured by activist shareholders to exact value out of its real estate holdings. Macy’s is considering alternative uses for some of its retail real estate and joint ventures, and is seeking to hire a real estate executive to examine possibilities.
Sachse, 57, was named chief innovation and growth officer of Macy’s Inc. in February 2015 after serving for three years as Macy’s chief stores officer. He was Macy’s chief marketing officer since February 2009, along with serving as chairman and ceo of macys.com since April 2006. He was president of Macy’s corporate marketing from 2003 to 2006 and earlier, president and chief operating officer of The Bon Marché in Seattle. He began his retail career with Macy’s in Kansas City.
MacFarlane, 43, joined Ann Inc. in 2010 as senior vice president for corporate strategy with responsibility for strategic planning, consumer insights and research, and execution of enterprise strategic initiatives. Previously, he held senior-level roles at AlixPartners and Kurt Salmon Associates.