It’s the end of an era at Bloomingdale’s.
David Fisher, the longtime head of men’s wear for the department store, will be leaving his position as executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and Young World, at the end of the month. Fisher has been with the store for 33 years.
His departure is part of parent company Macy’s Inc. plan, which was revealed at the end of last year, to offer buyouts to some of its veteran employees. To qualify for the offer, employees must be at least 55 years old with enough tenure that the total adds up to at least 70. These voluntary separation opportunities are intended to “reduce ongoing expense and streamline management,” according to Macy’s. About 360 executives qualified for the offer.
Fisher told WWD that without the incentive he probably would have stayed in his position for another two to three years, but since he qualified for the offer, he opted to take it.
He will be replaced by Dan Leppo, current executive vice president of home, who will take over Fisher’s men’s wear responsibilities. The children’s wear duties will be assigned to Francine Klein, vice chair for accessories, cosmetics, Young World and outlets.
Kevin Harter, vice president for fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s, said Fisher’s skills are well-recognized and highly respected within the industry.
“David Fisher’s passion for product and the retail industry has made him one of the best merchants in the business,” Harter said. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of his great team throughout the years.”
John Varvatos feels similarly. “David Fisher is one of the last great men’s merchants in our business. His passion for product is contagious. I can’t thank him enough for his amazing partnership and friendship.”
Fisher began his career at Bloomingdale’s in 1983 as divisional merchandise manager of ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, cosmetics and Young World in the King of Prussia, Pa., store.
He has also held various senior merchandising positions at both the King of Prussia store and the 59th Street flagship. Among his positions have been dmm for fashion accessories at 59th Street; operating vice president/dmm for misses coats and special sizes; merchandise vice president of coats, special sizes, and swimwear, and senior vice president and general manager of 59th Street.
In 1997, he was promoted to senior vice president/gmm of men’s and Young World, and in 2004, he was promoted to executive vice president.
Before joining Bloomingdale’s, Fisher was vice president/dmm for juniors and misses’ sportswear at Gimbel’s Pittsburgh.
Fisher said he’s unclear exactly what he will do after leaving the retailer. “I’ve talked to several people and I’m not sure, but I might want to work for a brand as a merchandiser,” he said, noting that he has also had conversations with private equity firms.
He said he doesn’t plan on just “staying home,” although he expects to “take some time to get my head straight.”
He added: “I want to be happy. This business has become so complicated and it’s really changed a lot over the past three years. But I love this place and my DNA is all through it. I will miss it terribly.”
Leppo has been in his current position since last January. For about 12 years, he had been vice president and dmm of men’s wear for Bloomingdale’s, working with Fisher.