Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Sears Holdings has named CE veteran Ron Boire chief merchandising officer and president of its Sears and Kmart stores, effective immediately.
The newly created post, which also carries an executive VP title, gives the former Sony, Best Buy, Toys "R" Us and Brookstone exec responsibility for the company's merchandising function and brick-and-mortar stores. He will also help integrate the stores with Sears' multichannel and service offerings.
"I understand the company's challenges, but I am more persuaded by the company's opportunities and strengths," Boire said in a statement, citing its thousands of stores, millions of customers, $40 billion in annual revenue, and private-label brands. "We have a lot to work with to improve our business and delight our customers," including the long-term commitment of Sears' board, which has "made such a significant financial commitment in working to transform this iconic company," he said.
Boire reports to Sears Holdings'president/CEO Lou D'Ambrosio. "We are in the midst of a transformation of our business, from top to bottom, as we seek to become the leading integrated retailer in the country," D'Ambrosio said in a statement.
"By attracting someone with Ron's significant experience in retail, merchandising and product development as well as in leading companies through turnarounds, we're adding a key talent in accelerating our transformation."
Boire's appointment follows weak holiday sales in Sears' core CE and appliance categories, persistent market share declines in majaps, successive quarterly losses, and the planned shuttering of upward of 120 Sears and Kmart stores.
Prior to joining Sears, Boire was president/CEO of executive gift retailer Brookstone. Before that he served as president, U.S. toys, North America for Toys "R" Us, overseeing merchandising, marketing and operations for 670 stores in the U.S. and Canada. He joined the toy chain from Best Buy, where he was executive VP and global merchandise manager, responsible for managing the company's U.S. business teams and overseeing global technology and vendor management, global sourcing and private label development. Before that he served in a number of senior roles during a 17-year career at Sony Electronics, including president of its consumer sales and personal mobile products companies.