HSN hires longtime Walmart exec Carmen Bauza as EVP and head merchant
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Interactive multichannel retailer HSN has named Carmen Bauza as its EVP and chief merchandising officer effective Nov. 28.
Bauza comes to HSN with more than 30 years' experience in retail and merchandising, having served in leadership positions at Walmart, L Brands (formerly Limited Brands, Inc.), Five Below, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company.
According to a statement from HSN, Bauza will be responsible for the comprehensive management and continuous development of HSN's cross-category product portfolio – including the ongoing expansion of proprietary offerings. Additionally, HSN says Bauza will identify strategic opportunities to enhance cross platform experiences and maximize HSN's customer reach through distributed commerce.
"I am extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Carmen Bauza for this critical role. She is a high caliber executive who is known as a consumer-centric brand builder and change agent," said Mindy Grossman, CEO at HSN Inc. "She will be a strong leader for our experienced merchandising and planning teams, as well as a key member of our executive committee. Carmen's belief in HSN and our unique approach to retail commerce is a testament to our future growth opportunities."
Bauza spent the past 10 years as a senior leader at Walmart, most recently serving as the senior vice president for their consumables, health and wellness merchandising division, which includes baby consumables, OTC and optical and chemical and paper goods. That division is one of the largest in the company with a multi-billion dollar sales volume. She also had oversight of innovations and systems in that role.
Her previous time at Walmart included serving as vice president and divisional merchandise manager for their beauty and personal care business, and was credited for the transformation for the category at Walmart. Carmen was also on the board of directors for Walmart de Mexico.
Prior to joining Walmart, she oversaw seasonal retail for L Brand's Bath and Body Works division, and was responsible for the launch of the new beauty store concept, C.O. Bigelow. Before joining L Brands, she was with Five Below, Inc. where she led all merchandising initiatives for planning, pricing, distribution and sourcing.
During her time at the Walt Disney Company, she served as a senior merchandising executive, creating and expanding business opportunities for the company based on emerging market trends, guest demographics and psychographics and synergy opportunities.
"HSN has always been a leader in offering innovative, differentiated retail experiences to its consumers, and I am thrilled to join this dynamic brand," Bauza said. "Today's consumer is shopping across all channels, looking for convenience and accessibility, but also a reason to buy. That's the power of the HSN platform – they build customer engagement with a mix of unique content, compelling events and a growing portfolio of proprietary products. I've always believed that merchandising is storytelling, and I look forward to strategically growing the business through great experiences and great products."
Bauza is a graduate of Seton Hill University, where she received a BS in fashion merchandising and business management. She is a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Network of Executive Women and the Literacy Council of Benton County. She is an executive sponsor of the Hispanic and Latino Associate Resource Group.
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CVS honors veterans
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — CVS Health teamed with the NFL’s New England Patriots on Nov. 5 to provide a football skills camp for nearly 30 veterans from Massachusetts and Rhode Island at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
The camp included a Patriots-style entry onto the turf via an oversized Patriots helmet. Once the skills session began, Patriots alumni Patrick Pass, Harold Shaw and Vernon Crawford taught veterans from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs New England blocking, throwing and kicking skills, followed by an autograph session, lunch and stadium tours.
CVS Health VP of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer David Casey officially kicked off the camp and greeted the military veterans.
“I’m incredibly proud to participate in today’s event on behalf of CVS Health,” he said. “As a former U.S. Marine, I understand the sacrifices our military members and their families make to serve our country. This is one of my favorite events because it provides such a unique experience for them. This football skills camp is one way CVS Health demonstrates its commitment to our military community from recruiting and developing military veterans and service members for our workforce, to providing charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations.”
“CVS Health values and respects our nation’s military heroes and we’re honored to celebrate them at this event so close to Veterans Day,” added Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy for CVS Health. “This is the fourth year that we have partnered with the New England Patriots to provide this football skills camp for our local veterans. It’s a small token of thanks for their commitment to serving our country.”
Thank you for sharing some time and attention with these terrific veterans CVS!
Retail CMOs predict 4.7% lift in holiday sales
CHICAGO — Steadily climbing consumer confidence and retail sales growth have U.S. retail CMOs feeling optimistic ahead of this holiday season.
Respondents of BDO USA’s 11th annual Retail Compass Survey of CMOs predict a bullish 4.7% sales increase this holiday season, tied with the highest projection in the survey’s history. This is also more optimistic than the National Retail Federation’s expected 3.6% increase.
Not only do retailers expect consumers to have greater flexibility in their spending for the 2016 holiday season, but nearly a quarter (23%) of CMOs themselves have increased marketing and advertising budgets this year.
“Conditions seem favorable heading into the holiday season this year,” said Natalie Kotlyar, national leader of BDO’s Consumer Business practice. “But the pressure is on for retailers to identify the optimal mix of promotions and pricing across channels. It’s arguably the toughest decision retailers will make—and the most critical factor in their holiday season success.”
In fact, a majority (57%) of retail CMOs say price competition is their greatest challenge for the holidays, followed by brand recognition (18%), inventory management (15%) and lack of in-demand product (10%). The number of retailers anticipating more discounting over the prior year has steadily increased since 2013, reaching 72% this year. And one quarter of survey respondents, up from 16% last year, say they plan to offer more discounts and promotions during the 2016 holiday season than in 2015.
These findings are from the 11th edition of the BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs, which examined the opinions of 100 CMOs at leading retailers located throughout the country. The telephone survey was conducted in September and October of 2016.
Additional findings of the 2016 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs include:
- Omnichannel is a Must-Have This Holiday Season. Of the 64% of retailers familiar with omnichannel, one-third intend to adjust their marketing strategies in response to customer demands for cohesive shopping experiences across channels. Among the retail CMOs adapting their omnichannel approaches this holiday season, 91% plan to implement consistent pricing and 86% plan to use consistent promotional strategies across all channels.
- ‘Tis the Season for Social. An overwhelming majority of retailers (87%) will aim to make more meaningful one-to-one connections with consumers this holiday season by using social media in their marketing strategy. The most widely used tactic among those leveraging social media marketing will be advertising deals and discounts (91%), while two-thirds plan to partner with an influencer or brand ambassador to reach coveted customers via their most trusted sources. Just 18% of retailers say they will use social media for click-to-buy.
- Retailers Mix and Mingle on Mobile. Similar to last year, over half (58 percent) of retail CMOs plan to use mobile in this year’s marketing strategy. Unlike 2015, generic mobile coupons are out of style this holiday season, a promotional tactic cited by just 8% of companies, down from 34% last year. Instead, more retailers will focus their mobile efforts on targeted ads (32%) and social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat (29%).
- Unemployment Remains the Grinch. Despite low jobless claims in recent months, unemployment remains chief among the economic factors retailers expect to impact holiday sales. On the other hand, fuel prices are at their lowest since 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and retailers are hoping this will work in their favor. Just 12% of retailers cited energy and fuel costs as a top concern this year, compared to 28% in 2015.
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