Sears Centralizes Merchandising Functions
By George Anderson
There’s more changes going on at Sears Holdings.
The company announced it is combining the merchandising divisions of its Sears and Kmart businesses under a single unit with the heads of those areas reporting directly to chairman Edward Lampert, until a chief merchandising officer is named.
Dan Laughlin has been named senior vice president of merchandising for Sears Holdings. He will be in charge of leading hardlines across the company’s business and will oversee merchandising for Sears’ stores.
Peter Whitsett, senior vice president and Kmart merchandising officer, has been put in charge of general merchandising businesses across Sears Holdings and will continue to oversee merchandising for Kmart.
“By centralizing our merchandising teams under these two talented and experienced merchants, we are able to create a structure that capitalizes on the strength of this combined organization. It allows us to better focus on providing our customers with quality services, products and solutions,” said Mr. Lampert in a released statement. “By building and aligning these teams, we’ll take a more integrated approach to how we interact with our customers and how we go to market.”
Gwen Manto, executive vice president for Sears’ softlines business, has resigned to become evp and chief merchandising officer at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Sears Holdings said Messrs. Laughlin and Whitsett will share responsibility for the apparel function until the company is able to find a replacement for Ms. Manto.
Roger Detter, senior vice president of hardlines for Sears, is retiring at the end of the month.
Moderator’s Comment: Will centralizing the merchandising functions at Sears Holdings create a more integrated and customer-focused approach for the various
retail businesses the company operates? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Sears Holdings Announces Centralized Merchandising Organization and Leadership
– Sears Holdings Corporation/PRNewswire
- Sears Holdings shakes up top ranks
again – MarketWatch