Kohl’s Names Nick Jones Chief Merchandising And Digital Officer
Kohl’s Corporation today said it has named Nick Jones as chief merchandising and digital officer. He’ll join the company in March, reporting directly to CEO Tom Kingsbury, whose appointment was announced last week.
Jones will be responsible for the overall merchandise strategy and all merchandising functions such as buying, digital and omnichannel merchandising, product design and development and product portfolio strategy. He succeeds Doug Howe, whose 30-year included the chief merchandising role at Qurate Retail Group, which provides services and analysis to QVC and HSN.
Kohl’s has been under pressure to shake up its management ranks. Activist investor Macellum had been advocating for a change at the C-suite and beyond. The Menomonee Falls, Wisc. retailer last month said Tom Kingsbury, who has been serving as interim CEO since embattled CEO Michelle Gass, stepped down in November to join Levi’s as president, was named permanent CEO.
Macellum, a long term holder of nearly 5% of the outstanding common shares of Kohl’s in October issued a letter to fellow shareholders about the need for “an immediate and targeted refresh” of the company’s board of directors, as opposed to waiting for a vote at next year’s annual shareholders meeting.
“Tom’s exceptional track record growing retail businesses and his deep knowledge of Kohl’s makes him the right choice for Kohl’s next CEO. Since joining the Board, Tom has added valuable insight and perspective, and as interim CEO, he has demonstrated strong leadership and made a meaningful and positive impact on the organization,” said board chair Peter Boneparth. “The board has the full confidence in Tom’s ability to drive the business forward, focusing on accelerating sales and profitability, and we look forward to our continued work together.”
Kingsbury has held leading positions at Burlington Stores and the May Department Stores. At Burlington Stores he was CEO from 2008 to 2018. From 2014 to 2018 he also assumed the duties of chairman. From 2018 to 2020 he was executive chairman of Burlington Stores.
Jones will drive Kohl’s strategic focus on the active and casual lifestyle, through a compelling offering of national and proprietary brands, which Gass doubled down on during her tenure.
Gass forged strategic partnerships with Sephora, Apple
“We’re very excited for Nick to join our team and lead our merchandising as we continue our focus on the active and casual lifestyle while accelerating our focus on product newness and innovation,” said Kingsbury. “Nick has a tremendous wealth of experience in merchandising, retail, global sourcing and business leadership.
“During his career, Nick has been the chief merchant of one of the U.K.’s biggest retailers, led multiple categories for department store Marks & Spencer, and was a key leader in the category and international expansion of the multi-billion brand, George,” said Kingsbury.
“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’s the right team for our organization, our team and our customers,” Kingsbury said.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Kohl’s and love the strategic focus for todays customers who are living a more casual and comfortable lifestyle,” said Jones. “I look forward to joining the team as we find fresh and new ways to offer great products to our consumers.”
Jones has more than 25 years of merchandising, brand, retail and leadership experience, including working with the senior leadership team at Walmart
Before that, Jones spent nearly 10 years at ASDA/Walmart U.K., where he managed George, a multi-billion brand, where he served as chief merchant for ASDA U.K. Prior to that, Jones spent 15 years at Marks & Spencer, where he held a number of merchandise leadership roles, including working in the home, beauty and women’s categories.