NEW YORK — Sears, Roebuck & Co. has turned to Lands’ End yet again for help with its apparel business.
This story first appeared in the November 19, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sears on Tuesday said it had promoted Patti Simigran to the post of senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s apparel. She will begin in her new role Dec. 1 and report to Mindy Meads, Sears’ executive vice president of softlines. Meads also serves in the office of the president of Lands’ End as executive vice president of merchandising and design.
Simigran is currently Lands’ End’s senior vice president of core merchandising. She will be succeeded by David McCreight, a retailing executive who is coming over from Disney Stores Worldwide. He also will start Dec. 1 and report to Meads.
“Patti’s hands-on leadership and proven product experience will play a key role in guiding Sears’ apparel strategy,” said Meads in a statement. “She will invigorate our apparel offerings as we continue to raise the bar in quality, value and fashion for our customers.”
Meads succeeded Kathryn Bufano as Sears’ softlines chief in April. Sears bought Lands’ End in June 2002 for approximately $1.9 billion.
Simigran’s new position entails providing “overall strategic leadership to the Sears merchant team for misses apparel, juniors’ and specialty sizes,” the firm said.
McCreight takes over Simigran’s leadership of the Lands’ End women’s, men’s, specialty apparel and footwear divisions, as well as the company’s quality and sourcing division.
“David brings a wealth of merchandising and retailing experience to the Lands’ End team,” Meads said. “His strategic merchandising experience, sense of style and focus on the customer will help Lands’ End continue its legacy of providing high-quality classic apparel at a great value, while helping attract new customers to Lands’ End.”
After joining Disney in 2001, McCreight oversaw the strategic redirection of the firm’s merchandising and its 450 stores in North America. Prior to that, he served in management positions at Saks Fifth Avenue, May Co. and The Limited Stores.
Sears’ latest moves toward making its softer side more relevant to consumers follows September’s appointment of LuAnn Via as vice president of intimate apparel, accessories and fragrances, and the hiring of Carrie Shigetomi as vice president of brand development. Via was senior vice president of product development for Saks Inc., while Shigetomi was Calvin Klein’s vice president of design administration and product development.