NEW YORK — Woolworth Corp. has named Thomas J. Slover vice president of worldwide sourcing, a post in which he will head the Taipei-based import sourcing unit of the $8 billion retailer.
Slover, 50, succeeds Gary Fuller, who after 40 years with Woolworth’s has retired as president of the import sourcing division. Fuller had held that post since 1993.
Slover joined Woolworth last year as senior vice president of product development and sourcing for the firm’s specialty footwear division, which includes Kinney Shoe, the 500-unit family shoe chain. In his new post, Slover reports to Dale Hilpert, president and chief operating officer of Woolworth.
“As we continue to expand our specialty retail formats, reliable import sourcing becomes increasingly important in maintaining Woolworth’s competitive advantage,” Hilpert said in a statement.
Woolworth has been extending its Foot Locker franchise, for instance, with the launch last month of the division’s first mail-order catalogs. It will also enter Asia with a Foot Locker in Japan on Oct. 4, and has plans for aggressive growth in Canada and Europe where the chain has been established. Foot Locker’s 2,248 stores include 600 units abroad.
Slover began his retailing career in 1974 at Payless ShoeSource Inc. and became its vice president of merchandise distribution in 1978. Between 1989 and 1996, he was based in Taipei as vice president, product development, for Payless ShoeSource International.
Woolworth Corporation is a diversified retailer that operates more than 7,100 retail stores in 12 countries in North America, Europe and Australia.