NEW YORK — Faced with consolidation in the market as well as cost-cutting pressures, many companies have cut back on efforts to train and nurture talent.

As a result, there are fewer talent benches in the apparel retail and vendor markets, which make recruiting top-level executives a challenge, according to a recent panel discussion on retail leadership.

The panel, hosted by Berns Communications Group, a business communications firm specializing in retail and fashion, also discussed how private equity interest in the sector has changed the dynamics of executive recruitment.

The panelists included: Hal Reiter, chief executive officer of Herbert Mines & Associates; Billy Susman, president and chief operating officer of Financo Inc.; and Eric Hertz, director of executive education at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

For complete coverage, see Monday’s issue of WWD.

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