True Value Hardware Corporation, Chicago, IL (2013 to 2015)
Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer
- Managed full P&L for over $2.2B in global purchasing and $320M in active inventory covering 85,000 SKUs. Led multiple cross functional groups to create and implement 5-year comprehensive corporate strategic plan to deliver long term growth. Responsible for marketing, merchandising, category management, print advertising, pricing, private label and global sourcing. Re-engineered talent acquisition and rebuilt entire merchandising team.
- Hired full category management team complete with pricing, POG/JDA management, category rules, heat mapping (visual inventory productivity) to drive inventory and merchandising SKU investment at the co-op and store level.
- Turned around low-performance buying team accustomed to laid back pace. Replaced lowest performing 40% of buyers, creating a zealous and high-energy team culture with broad product expertise. Radically reformed line reviews – improving savings from 2% to more than 10% annually.
- Initiated annual “pay for play” vendor supported advertising investment program. Raised $8M+ in 2014 and $13.8M in 2015, allowing suppliers to purchase ad space while funding 50% of company’s national television program spend. 2014 marked the first time in 10 years that True Value appeared on national television, resulting in 8% improvement in customer count, 4% in retail comps and 9% increase in average ticket amount.
- Launched 250 SKU EDLP program to all retailers, delivering full margin percent as well as lowering retails on the most price sensitive SKUs. In 2015 full year test markets, average basket ring rose by over 9% while significantly improving retail price perception at test stores.
- Created a “New at True Value” 4 SKU end cap program supported by over 2800 stores, becoming the most successful program launch as measured by store participation.
Ace Hardware Corporation, Oak Brook, IL (2010 to 2013)
General Merchandising Manager
- Managed full P&L for $3.2B+ in global purchasing and $600M in active inventory covering 78,000 SKUs as head of department driving 80% of corporate strategy. Achieved 400 basis point gross margin improvement by 2012.
- Executed game-changing Craftsman program, growing the hand tool category from $9M to $180M in sales. Developed and negotiated “store within a store” concept for Craftsman brand. Executed roll-out to 2300+ stores.
- Overhauled planning and strategy due to down economy. Created 4.5% annual growth in top-line sales, creating $35M to $50M annual growth in wholesale sales.
- Increased annual new store openings by 300%, representing $150M in new revenue. Introduced New Store Allowance Program, providing funding to new and existing stores for remodeling, modernizing and meeting diverse needs of local stores. Presented high-margin, niche products (Pool, Bird, Welding, Pet, Marine, Live Goods, Housewares, Drip Irrigation) based on unique, local demographics, creating powerful and competitive retail success.
- Coordinated and managed creative direction for complete packaging refresh and modernization of private label branding for first time in 25 years, resulting in 14% increase from previous year in private label sales and launched most robust customer loyalty and rewards program in hardware industry.
- Created world-class merchandising test facility with 2 complete in-house stores, layout facility, formal line review areas, vendor support areas, testing stations and “buyer playground” for retail innovation.
Techtronic Industries North America, Anderson, SC (2008 to 2010)
President, Baja Motorsports / President, Direct Tools Factory Outlets
- Contributed at corporate level while concurrently leading turnaround effort of $75M subsidiary (Baja Motorsports) and launching new retail division from scratch (Direct Tools Factory Outlets).
- Delivered company’s first profitable year since purchase – converting $2.5M annual loss to $5M profit by restructuring company, resolving EPA fines, instituting compliance procedures, and driving focus on customer service into culture.
- Drove immediate $9M growth in sales by addressing largest gap with competitors: parts and service. Removed unproductive parts, improved working capital, and added finished goods inventory. Halved rate of returns for quality issues and improved service part fill rates from 65% to 90%.
- Achieved 8% reduction in cost of goods, improved import product quality and cut time to market by identifying and executing on opportunities for consolidation with Chinese production partners.
- Launched and led Direct Tools Factory Outlets to plug $150M annual loss of inventory. Sold reconditioned tools previously written off as losses when returned under warranty. Retail stores generated $1.5M profit in first year.
- Opened 30 stores nationwide within 2 years, averaging $1M in sales each. Managed all marketing, site selection, real estate, hiring & training, merchandising, and inventory planning.
- Added $1.6M+ net sales with imports of complementary product lines with factories in low cost countries.
Newell Rubbermaid, Huntersville, NC (2002 to 2007)
Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Channel, Irwin PTA & Shur-Line Painting Products (2006 to 2007)
- Grew business to $490M in 18 months. Led new product development, sales and marketing strategy, advertising budget, and brand building with full P&L management for Irwin tools and Shur-Line painting products.
- Designed and launched several national ad campaigns (print and television). Executed extremely successful national consumer promotion, “Ultimate Tradesman Challenge,” that generated $25M+ in promotional sales.
- Launched numerous product lines to secure $70M sales in first year, including #1 SKU in the division.
- Restructured global manufacturing footprint, increasing low cost country sourcing and capturing 500 basis points.
President and General Manager, Bernzomatic (2004 to 2006)
- Achieved 94% growth, to $150M, in consumer goods segment in less than two years. Developed and launched several new product lines, adding $40M to sales total in the first year.
- Identified and pursued $30M vertical product company for acquisition. Priced business, arranged deal, and led post-acquisition systems-integration. Secured buy-in and commitment of individuals with specialized expertise.
President and General Manager, Rubbermaid Cleaning (2002 to 2004)
- In first year, turned around failing $170M consumer cleaning business after 7 YOY losses. Became fastest-growing business as percent of total sales in company: secured critical $30M annual contract with Wal-Mart within 120 days of hire; secured integration of $100M commercial and consumer business units; drastically lowered SG&A; negotiated largest-ever licensing deal, adding $1.5M to bottom line and expanded product catalog.
The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA 1994 to 2002
Senior Global Product Merchant (2001 to 2002)
- Led procurement for $1.6B product category nationwide for consumer and commercial users; increased top line by 11% and GMROI by 300 points; generated $375M sales with largest product line launch in company history (John Deere).
- Initiated and executed deal to retail Toro branded snow equipment, increasing sales an additional $55M.
- Generated $18M+ increase in gross margins by designing and implementing functional rebates for power equipment engine suppliers.
Director, Proprietary Brands (1999 to 2001)
- Conceived, negotiated and executed first-of-its-kind nationwide deal with John Deere to manufacture and sell consumer mowers and tractors under Scotts brands. Added $100M to top line. Earned buy-in from local John Deere reps through innovative partnership program on assembly and service of every unit sold.
- Conducted successful product launch for RIDGID brand. Created $30M growth in sales for wet-dry vacuums capturing 10% market share gain against Sears and eventually becoming dominant market leader in category.
- Led brand management for Husky and Workforce lines. Achieved 20% increase in sales per square foot and improved GMROI by 43% by rationalizing product offerings in line with declining market demand
- Designed and launched 20 SKU Husky Air Tool program, overtaking Sears in 2002 to secure and maintain dominant market share.
Hardlines D28 Product Merchant (1995 to 1999)
- Managed all purchasing for indoor garden category for Southern Region with $3B in sales. Grew 20% YOY. Led all purchasing, pricing, assortment design, line reviews and general management.
- Managed all store-opening tasks relative to department for 220 new stores annually. Led store walks and training for store managers and associates at every location.
- Led expansion into Puerto Rico with 14 stores to become first category chain in the country. Ran all vendor negotiations on export issues. Identified and secured contracts with local vendors. Led all merchandising.
Bachelor of Science in Marketing, University of Tennessee