Topper will oversee the company’s technology, infrastructure, security, supply chain and logistics, reporting directly to President and CEO Molly Langenstein. The appointment comes on the heels of 17.5% growth YoY in the company’s digital business in fiscal year 2020, which ended on Jan. 31, 2021.
“Jay is an experienced leader with a proven track record of increasing consumer engagement and revenue,” said Langenstein in a statement. “He will be instrumental in creating a seamless end-to-end customer experience and identifying customer friction points and unlocking sales and growth in our company. As we continue to position ourselves as a digital-first and customer-led company, I am proud to welcome Jay to Chico’s FAS.”
Topper has more than 20 years of digital experience. He joins Chico’s FAS from floral retailer FTD, where he served as CDO and was instrumental in driving the company’s ecommerce business, products, technology functions and supply chain operations for the past four years. Prior to FTD, Topper held executive positions at online vitamin and supplement retailer Vitacost and the digital education company Rosetta Stone.
Chico’s FAS currently operates 1,300+ stores in the U.S. as well as a suite of ecommerce sites. The company’s products also are distributed through 68 franchise locations in Mexico and two domestic franchise airport locations.
Like many retailers, Chico’s FAS saw a significant decline in sales in fiscal year 2020 but was bolstered by a boom on the digital side of the business. Net sales in fiscal 2020 declined 35% from the year prior to $1.3 billion, primarily due to the pandemic. At the same time, the company fast-tracked investments in digital and saw year-over-year online sales increase 17.5%, led by a 72% increase in digital sales for the Soma brand.