Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Sears, Roebuck & Co. chairman and chief executive officer Alan Lacy is moving fast to plug up some big holes.
To try to sustain momentum in the chain’s aggressive apparel restructuring, Lacy has reassigned responsibilities previously held by Mark Cohen, former president of softlines and chief marketing officer, to two senior executives: David W. Selby and Leslie Mann.
Mann, senior vice president of accessories, footwear, fine jewelry, cosmetics and home fashions, has been named acting head of softlines, with added responsibilities for women’s, men’s and children’s wear, a Sears spokeswoman said Monday. Reportedly, a search for a new softlines head is under way.
Selby was named senior vice president of marketing, responsible for all Sears marketing, advertising and brand management activities. He joined Sears in 1997 as vice president of marketing services and was promoted in January 1999 to senior vice president of retail marketing. Before that, he spent 18 years at Leo Burnett as senior vice president and account director on the McDonald’s USA account.
As reported Jan. 23, Cohen was reassigned to Sears Canada, as its chairman and ceo, succeeding Paul Walters. Reportedly, the departure of Walters caught Sears off guard. With Sears Canada at a crucial juncture integrating T. Eaton’s stores, Sears wanted to replace Walters as soon as possible.
Cohen, 52, has experience running department stores, including Lazarus and Bradlees. His shift to the Toronto-based Sears Canada could stall Sears apparel strategy here in the U.S., which involves beefing up private brands and narrowing the vendor base to attempt to clarify and strengthen the selection.
Sears has a total volume of $40 billion, including $9 billion in soft goods. Sears Canada, majority owned by Sears Roebuck, does $6 billion in sales [U.S.] annually.

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