As part of a larger effort to turn around its business and place a stronger focus on digital, Macy’s Inc. announced today that it has tapped former SVP of eBay North America Hal Lawton to serve as its new president. The department store chain will also use more consumer insights and data analytics, and restructure its merchandise operations — which will soon include a lot more exclusive products.
Lawton, who will take his new post on Sept. 8, will be responsible for all aspects of the Macy’s brand, including merchandising, marketing, stores, operations, technology and consumer insights and analytics. He will report to CEO Jeff Gennette.
“Hal Lawton has deep expertise at the intersection of retail and technology, a diverse set of business experiences that give him a unique perspective and a track record of successfully driving a change agenda at scale. I’m thrilled that he has chosen to join Macy’s,” said Gennette. “This is a key step as we look to further transform the business and work through the volatility of today’s retail landscape. Macy’s already has one of the strongest omnichannel businesses in the industry, and with Hal on the team, we will accelerate the integration of digital both online and in our stores to deliver the world-class experience our customers demand.”
Of its merchandising and data-driven restructuring, Macy’s said it seeks to balance the “art and science” of retail. The restructuring includes the consolidation of three functions – merchandising, planning and private brands — into a single merchandising function and organized around five “families-of-business” (Ready-to-Wear, Center Core, Beauty, Men’s and Kid’s, and Home).
Macy’s said its strengthened customer insights and data analytics, which the company is expanding to include inventory replenishment and pricing capabilities, will feed the new merchandising structure.
The platform will be be led by 35-year Macy’s veteran Jeff Kantor, who previously oversaw macys.com. Currently, Kantor serves as chief stores and human resources officer. He will report to Lawton.
“Macy’s has long been known for innovation and excellence in merchandising,” Gennette said. “The changes we are making today maintain our core merchandising skills while massively simplifying our structure and processes for greater speed and flexibility. We are also further strengthening our consumer insights and data analytics capabilities so we can make better decisions faster, balancing the art and science of retail.”
Gennette said the company will also focus heavily on exclusive merchandise selections — with goal of expanding those offerings to 40 percent of the business.
“Having a single lens for each family of business will allow us to expedite our strategy of delivering this edited, elevated and exclusive assortment to our best customers,” he added. “To achieve this, we will aggressively grow our private brands while also offering the best national brands.”