Nordstrom Promotes Rack President To New C-Level Innovation Post

0ageevythomasSeeking to build more personalized shopping experiences in all channels, Nordstrom has named longtime company executive Geevy Thomas to the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer. Thomas most recently served as President of the company’s off-price store brand, Nordstrom Rack.

Bringing an exec from Nordstrom Rack to oversee innovation for the entire retail operation appears to be a case of rewarding success. Nordstrom Rack has been Nordstrom’s best-performing brand, with Q3 net sales at its stores and online increasing 10.1% and comparable store sales increasing 3.9%. These numbers are a huge step up compared to Nordstrom’s full-line brand, which increased net sales 2.4% and comparable store sales 0.9% during the same period. E-Commerce sales largely carried the full-line division with a 20.1% comparable sales increase, while brick-and-mortar Nordstrom stores actually saw a revenue decline of 4.5%.

In the new role, Thomas and the Nordstrom Innovation team will focus on positioning the full-line stores to better serve customers through further integration of digital and mobile.


“Our business was founded and built over the years through our full-line stores, and today they still represent the largest portion of our sales volume,” said Erik Nordstrom, Co-President of Nordstrom in a statement. “However, the way customers are choosing to shop in a more digitally connected world continues to change, and we know we need to find ways for our stores to evolve with them. This is a challenge but we also see a tremendous opportunity to leverage our stores in ways that will allow us to serve customers into the future better than anyone else.”

Karen McKibbin is taking over Thomas’ position as President of Nordstrom Rack. She most recently served as President of Nordstrom Canada and led the company’s expansion into that country.

Technology, Trunk Club See Big Changes

These weren’t the only changes within the Nordstrom executive management team. Chief Technology Officer Kumar Srinivasan departed from his role only 10 months after joining the company. The retailer reportedly will evaluate the long-term leadership structure of its technology team and will continue to actively search to fill several key VP roles in technology.

And Nordstrom’s Trunk Club stylist service is undergoing changes to its hierarchical structure. The brand took a $197 million write-down on Trunk Club during Q3 — more than half what it had actually paid for the service in 2014 — so as losses mount up, the retailer is seeking a second wind.

Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club, has chosen to depart the company. Terry Boyle, President of Nordstrom’s e-Commerce brand HauteLook, will take on leadership of Trunk Club in addition to his current responsibilities. His new title will be President, and Trunk Club.

Trunk Club’s leadership team now also includes:

  • Kevin Price, who has served as CFO since Trunk Club’s inception and is taking on additional responsibility as Chief Operating Officer;

  • Linda Bartman, who recently joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer; and

  • Michael Barkin, also with Trunk Club since it was founded, who was recently promoted to Senior VP of Sales.

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