LOS ANGELES — Gap Inc. said Wednesday Jack Calhoun has joined the company as executive vice president of marketing for Banana Republic, succeeding Amy Schoening, who resigned the post in January. Calhoun reports to BR president Maureen Chiquet.

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Calhoun, 38, was most recently executive vice president for brand management and advertising at Charles Schwab. Prior to that, he spent six years heading up ad teams at Foote, Cone & Belding; Citron Haligman Bedecarre, and Young & Rubicam, as well as holding marketing positions at Levi Strauss & Co.

A spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based retailer declined to reveal marketing strategies Calhoun will implement for BR, but said: “We’re focused on listening to the customer, using that research for our marketing strategy and balancing those findings with creative thinking.”

Two other top marketing positions remain vacant at Gap and Old Navy.

Overall, Gap appears to be in the first stages of a turnaround, having posted its fifth straight month of same-store sales growth in February after a two-and-a-half-year slide.

At Banana, analysts credit designer Deborah Lloyd, who arrived from Burberry in 2001, for giving Gap’s upscale division a leg up. “Just taking Banana Republic product back to its basic roots has helped,” noted Joe Teklitz, an analyst at Wachovia Securities. “Spring should be as successful as fall. The next challenge is year-over-year comparisons.”

BR’s 441 stores have improved, although they remain in negative same-store-sales territory, posting a 3 percent decline in February compared with a 10 percent drop in the same month last year.

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