Bloomingdale’s, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, just set another bit of retail history: it has named Denise Magid its very first chief merchant.
It’s a promotion for Magid, who has been serving as EVP and GMM for ready-to-wear, center core, concessions and Bloomingdale’s outlets. Center core includes women’s shoes, handbags, accessories and fine jewelry.
“We are confident that Denise’s vision and leadership will continue to strengthen our relationships with our brand partners and further refine how we can cater to the unique needs of the Bloomingdale’s customer. We look forward to Denise’s impact in this newly created role,” said Tony Spring, Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Officials said they researched Bloomingdale’s history and determined that the retailer never before had anyone in the role of chief merchant.
Spring said Magid will “drive the strategic direction and performance of all Bloomingdale’s merchandising initiatives, be responsible for building new partnerships and enhancing existing ones, expanding the brand matrix and product assortment, and ultimately influencing the future growth of the Bloomingdale’s brand.” Magid will report to Spring, and Bloomingdale’s general merchandise managers will report to Magid.
While Bloomingdale’s finally saw fit to designate a chief merchant, its competitors have long had them in place. At the Neiman Marcus Group, it’s Lana Todorovich. At Saks, it’s Tracy Margolies, and Macy’s has Nata Dvir.
Nordstrom’s chief merchandising officer Teri Bariquit retired last January after working at the Seattle-based retailer for 37 years. Nordstrom continues to seek a successor, and could have eyed Magid, among others, for the role.
Because the merchandising and buying at Bloomingdale’s is rapidly changing and getting more complex through the adoption of additional channel formats, it seems very relevant to have someone designated as chief merchant. Later this year Bloomingdale’s will launch an online marketplace. In the past couple of years, it launched Bloomies, a smaller, highly specialized brick-and-mortar version of Bloomingdale’s. Since 2010, Bloomingdale’s has been rolling out outlets, too.
Bloomingdale’s is expected to select a new gmm to fill the role that Magid has vacated.
Reporting to Magid is Dan Leppo, GMM for menswear, children’s, cosmetics and home; Jennifer Jones, GMM for center core: Rachel Saar, DMM for outlets, and Azmyra Clark, senior director for concessions, diverse brands and new business development.
Magid joined Bloomingdale’s in January 2019 as executive vice president and general merchandise manager for ready-to-wear, bloomingdales.com and concessions. Over time, she was given additional responsibilities over outlets, leases and center core.
Prior to joining Bloomingdale’s, Magid worked at DVMagid Consulting, a consulting company she founded in 2016, as chief merchant at Intermix, and as senior vice president and gmm of rtw at Saks Fifth Avenue.
“It has been such an honor to be a part of the Bloomingdale’s family throughout these transformative years,” Magid said in a statement. “I look forward to taking on the role of chief merchant and working closely with the gmms and the Bloomingdale’s team to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Bloomingdale’s has generally been outperforming its peers. While many mall-based retailers experienced declines last quarter, Bloomingdale’s comparable sales were up 0.6%. There are 34 Bloomingdale’s stores and 20 Bloomingdale’s The Outlet stores as well as two Bloomies locations with a third opening soon.
This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.