REI Co-op has named Sylvia Wilks to the newly created role of SVP, Chief Supply Chain Officer, effective May 23, 2022. Wilks will be responsible for the strategic leadership of REI’s global supply chain, working with other leaders across the organization to develop its network and support the company’s growth.
Wilks has more than 25 years of experience in the retail, food and beverage and consumer product industries. She most recently served as VP, Operations at TireHub, and previously spent more than eight years at Starbucks in roles including VP, Global Sourcing and Supplier Relations.
“As an REI member since 2006, my passion for preserving nature, delivering value to organizations and building effective teams led me to the co-op,” said Wilks in a statement. “REI is known for an amazing culture and I’m excited to join REI leading supply chain operations, demand planning and vendor services teams to further the mission to connect more people to nature.”
Rethinking supply chain management has become a key priority for many retailers, as challenges created by COVID-19 have become exacerbated by events like the Ukraine crisis. Keeping shelves full is more important than ever before — 30% to 40% of shoppers said they will abandon a brand if it doesn’t meet their expectations, according to a study by McKinsey.
REI isn’t the only retailer tackling supply chain challenges at high levels. Neiman Marcus appointed a new Chief Supply Chain Officer in January 2022 to support its Revolutionizing Luxury Experiences growth roadmap, on top of investing $90 million in supply chain upgrades to enhance its systems and distribution facilities.