SAKS ENTERPRISES SHUFFLES EXEC STAFF
Byline: David Moin
NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, a unit of Saks Inc., is streamlining and reorganizing management and cutting costs.
A few top managers were promoted and given broader responsibilities to more tightly integrate Saks Enterprises’ three channels of business: the Saks Fifth Avenue stores, Off 5th outlets and Saks Direct, which includes the Folio catalog and saks.com.
In addition, about 20 workers at Saks Enterprises here, at the buyer level and below, were let go.
The moves follow a soft fourth quarter for Saks Fifth Avenue and last week’s announcement that a plan to spin off Saks Fifth Avenue into a separate stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange from Saks Inc. was aborted due to declining market conditions. Saks Inc. stock closed at $12.14 on Thursday, and has ranged from $7.60 to $15 in the last 52 weeks.
Christina Johnson, who just last week also assumed a broader role as president and chief executive officer of Saks Enterprises, from previously being president and ceo of the Saks Fifth Avenue chain, said in a statement: “This realignment will more closely connect the merchandise offerings and marketing efforts of all three channels.” Under the reorganization, Johnson has more executives reporting to her.
Among the key changes: Sheri Wilson-Gray, executive vice president of marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue, has been appointed chief marketing officer for Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, continuing to report to Johnson. Her responsibilities still cover the marketing operations for Saks Fifth Avenue and Off 5th outlets, while adding marketing responsibility for Saks Direct.
Gail Pisano, executive vice president of merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue, continues in that position and adds duties for Saks Direct merchandising. Her responsibilities will now include designer ready-to-wear, Gold Range merchandise, accessories, handbags, shoes, intimate apparel and Saks Direct merchandising. She continues to report to Johnson.
Marilyn Carracino, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Folio, has been appointed senior vice president and gmm for Saks Direct, reporting to Pisano. Her responsibilities now include merchandising of the saks.com and catalog businesses.
Denise Incandela continues as chief operating officer of Saks Direct, but now reports to Johnson. Her responsibilities include product development, marketing, technology, operations and content for Saks Direct.
Lynne Ronon, senior vice president of saks.com, continues to report to Incandela, but shifts from merchandising the Web site to directing the site’s design.
Donald Watros, executive vice president of finance and planning for Saks Fifth Avenue, was named chief administrative officer for Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises, continuing to report to Johnson. His responsibilities will include finance, merchandise planning, store operations and loss prevention, in addition to serving as the principal liaison with the Saks Inc. support group and concentrating on the strategic development of information technology for Saks Enterprises. Saks Inc. is the parent company of Saks Enterprises and the support group serves both the department store division of Saks Inc. and the Saks Enterprises division.
Carolyn Biggs continues as executive vice president of stores for Saks Fifth Avenue, but the Saks Fifth Avenue New York flagship store will now report to her. She also still reports to Johnson.
Saks Enterprises operates 62 Saks stores, 48 Off 5th outlets and Saks Direct, which includes the Folio and Bullock & Jones catalogs and saks.com. The department store group of Saks Inc. operates 252 stores under the names of Proffitt’s, McRae’s, Younkers, Parisian, Herberger’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner’s and Boston Store.