Francine Klein, Bloomingdale’s EVP and GMM for center core handbags, shoes, fine jewelry, fashion accessories, beauty, and outlets, is retiring after a 45-year career at the store, effective Feb. 28.
As part of the transition, Stacie Borteck, has been promoted to the role of SVP and GMM for center core, effective Feb. 3, while Michelle Israel, SVP of Off-Price, will continue in her role. Both will report to Tony Spring, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s.
Klein, who spent more than four decades at the Macy’s Inc.-owned high-end department store, was instrumental in reshaping the women’s footwear department at the store’s New York flagship in 2011, as well as the shoe area at the company’s location in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. At the time, Klein identified an explosion of interest in Bloomingdale’s shoe business and executed a makeover of the floor.
One of the drivers behind the update, Klein said at the time, was the chance to introduce shop-in-shops. “[It’s] a very important statement on the floor for our customers to see the breadth of what our partners do and show the vendors’ DNA,” she noted. “That’s different than what you see at a lot of other places.”
The executive was also a strong voice for the role of women in the industry. Klein told FN in a 2015 interview, “I encourage all women in the industry to stand up for what they believe in and don’t be swayed by popular opinion. It’s not easy to go against the grain, but risks come with the territory and can have big payoffs.”
She went on to say, “One great thing about the footwear industry is that there are so many strong female leaders. The bigger challenge is meeting the demands of our ever-changing customer. The modern customer is continually changing how she shops, when she shops and what she’s looking for — it’s up to us to keep her informed and inspired. Incorporating innovative technology, mining for emerging brands and enhancing the shopping experience are vital elements in today’s retail landscape.”
Spring said Klein was “a driving force in the evolution of Bloomingdale’s” and that the executive’s legacy “is one that has shaped who we are today.”
“Her commitment to partnership, unbridled passion for the business, and dedication to motivating the talent she works with demonstrates what it means to be a true leader,” he added. “Francine has been an integral part in our growth and has made an immeasurable impact on Bloomingdale’s and the retail industry.”
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