Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Kmart Corp.’s top tier has been hit again, as Lorna Nagler, the second-highest ranking merchant in the chain, resigned Monday to become president of the Catherines large-sizes division of Charming Shoppes.
There is also speculation that Kmart will soon name a vice chairman of merchandising, superceding Kmart’s top merchant, Cecil Kearse, executive vice president of merchandising for all soft and hard goods. It’s unclear what role Kearse will play in the future.
Kmart confirmed Nagler’s departure, but had no information on Kearse. No successor to Nagler was named.
Nagler, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, joined Kmart in 1996. She’s highly respected and has been instrumental in building Kmart’s lineup of exclusive offerings, including Disney, Sesame Street and Joe Boxer apparel. Just last month, Kmart extended her responsibilities to toys, in addition to her supervising women’s, men’s, girls, boys, infants, toddlers, jewelry and accessories.
Kirk Palmer & Associates handled the search for Charming Shoppes.
At 460-unit Catherines, Nagler will succeed Diane Missel, who recently became president of Lane Bryant, another division of Charming Shoppes. Since Kmart filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 22, there’s been plenty of turmoil within the executive ranks: chief executive officer Chuck Conaway resigned in March and president Mark Schwartz resigned in January. The management upheaval has been spurred by James. B. Adamson, now chairman and ceo, leading Kmart’s turnaround efforts.