Big Lots focuses on digital strategy with new exec appointment
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Big Lots has appointed former Kmart executive Andrew Stein as the company’s SVP and chief customer officer, as the company focuses more intensely on bolstering its digital footprint.
"As we develop our communication strategy focused on our customer, we know our marketing approach needs to evolve from one of traditional advertising means, such as print and television, to the digital age including social media, omnichannel, blogging and viral messaging," said CEO and president David Campisi. "We believe these channels, which will be new to Big Lots, will allow us to efficiently and effectively reinvigorate the Big Lots brand with our core customer and reintroduce us to a consumer segment that hasn’t been fully engaged recently. Andy has been an innovator in digital marketing strategies and multi-channel communications. He brings a wealth of experience integrating e-commerce and omnichannel solutions into brick and mortar retail operations. His analytical approach to creative strategic thinking will add tremendous value to our efforts. We’re delighted to welcome him as a member of our executive leadership team."
In his new role, Stein will oversee all areas of consumer engagement and customer messaging, including marketing, advertising, brand development and merchandise presentation. His responsibilities will include furthering the company’s brand recognition, including enhancing its Internet presence and further developing the company’s e-commerce site, expanding the use of digital marketing and social media and integrating the recently enhanced Buzz Club Rewards loyalty program. Stein will report directly to Campisi.
Prior to Big Lots, Stein was a marketing executive at Kmart, where he served a number of roles leading up to his appointment as chief marketing officer in August 2011. His responsibilities included building an integrated retail strategy, which produced the viral video favorite "Ship My Pants," a campaign that recently received special honors from The Hub Magazine, 4 Cannes Gold Lion Awards and has gotten more than 29 million hits on YouTube. He also made significant contributions to Kmart’s multicultural marketing initiative. Prior to Kmart, Stein held senior positions with IBM Global Business Consulting Services, Montgomery Wards & Co., Foot Locker and Razorfish.
Target hires former CIA officer as ‘kids’ gift detective’
MINNEAPOLIS — Target is hiring a former CIA officer to give parents tips on looking for presents for children who might not be forthcoming about what they want.
The mass-merchandise retailer said it had hired Jonna Mendez as a "kids’ gift detective." Mendez will appear in videos with popular mom bloggers who will work with her on looking for presents.
"Before parents can start shopping for holiday gifts, they need to solve the puzzle of what their kids want most, which often extends beyond the toy aisles," Target SVP merchandising and hardlines Scott Nygaard said. "Target offers guests tools to build their lists, including a dedicated online portal, our annual kids’ gifts catalog and the kids’ gift detective, who brings some lighthearted fun to list building."
The company is also launching a web page, Target.com/KidsGifts, that will showcase popular gifts for the season.
Manchester University pharmacy school dean to assume presidency next year
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The president of Indiana’s Manchester University will retire next summer and has named the university’s pharmacy dean as her successor.
The university, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., said Jo Young Switzer would retire on June 30, 2014 and had named EVP and College of Pharmacy dean Dave McFadden as president, effective the day after. Switzer is Manchester University’s first female president.
"President Switzer has led Manchester at a pace and with a strategic focus unprecedented in the history of Manchester," board of trustees chairwoman Marsha Link said. "She has led from within and has also risen to great respect across higher education as a dynamic and thoughtful leader."
Among the changes that have occurred at the school during the past nine years are the creation of the four-year doctor of pharmacy program, with $35 million in seed money from Lilly Endowment Inc., a philanthropic arm of Indianapolis-based drug maker Eli Lilly.