Local ShoppingKohl’s names new chief merchandising and digital officer

Kohl’s names new chief merchandising and digital officer

Nick Jones will become the chief merchandising and digital officer at Kohl’s in March.

The retailer said in a Thursday announcement that Jones will oversee the company’s merchandise strategy and all merchandising functions. That includes buying, digital and omnichannel merchandising, product design and development, and product portfolio strategy.

Jones has more than 25 years of merchandising, brand, retail and leadership experience. Most recently, Jones was CEO of U.K.-based premium apparel and home goods brand Joules Group, which sells online, at 130 stores and 1,500 wholesale outlet partners, including Nordstrom and Dillard’s. That retailer filed for administration in November.

Before that, Jones worked for nearly 10 years at Asda, which was formerly owned by Walmart. In that role, he managed the now multibillion dollar George brand and served as the chief merchant for ASDA/Walmart U.K.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Kohl’s and love the strategic focus for today’s customers who are living a more casual and comfortable lifestyle,” Jones said in the announcement.

Kohl’s merchandise mix includes national and private label brands. The private label brands include Apt. 9, Croft & Barrow, Jumping Beans, SO and Sonoma Goods for Life, while the national brands include Food Network, Nine West, LC Lauren Conrad and Simply Vera Vera Wang. The company said in its 2021 10-K that “compared to private brands, national brands generally have higher selling prices, but lower gross margins.”

In recent years, activist investors have pushed to shake up Kohl’s management, merchandising and customer engagement strategies. Jones replaces Chief Merchandising Officer Doug Howe, who left the company in May. Chief Marketing Officer Greg Revelle left the company the following month.

Jones is the second C-suite executive to join the company this month. Last week, Kohl’s announced that interim CEO Tom Kingsbury, a retail leader with 40 years of experience, would become the permanent CEO after the departure of Michelle Gass in December.

Kingsbury said Jones will accelerate the company’s focus on product innovation.

“As we continue to build on our key national brands, enhance our proprietary product portfolio and drive newness for customers, we are confident that he is the right fit for our organization, our team and our customers,” Kingsbury said.

Wisconsin-based Kohl’s has more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and nearly 100,000 associates.

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