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February 13, 2019

Macy’s names Ongman as chief merchandising officer

By Leonie Barrie

US department store retailer Macy’s Inc has named Patti Ongman as chief merchandising officer of the Macy’s brand, succeeding Jeff Kantor who is to retire.

Ongman currently serves as Macy’s executive vice president and general business manager for home merchandise.

In her new role, she will be responsible for leading Macy’s Merchandising, with oversight of merchandising, private brands and planning for the company’s five “families-of-business” – Ready-to-Wear, Center Core, Beauty, Men’s and Kid’s, and Home.

“Patti is a world-class merchant with a stellar reputation in the market. As a 33-year veteran at Macy’s, she’s a trusted leader to our colleagues and a valued partner to our vendors,” says Hal Lawton, Macy’s president. “I am confident that Patti is the right person with the right experience to continue transforming our merchandising organization to move faster and be more flexible.”

Kantor is stepping down after nearly four decades with Macy’s.

Ongman has also served as Macy’s chief planning officer, responsible for centralised merchandise and financial planning and assortment allocations by store, as well as the district/region merchandise planning structure and function that supported the signature My Macy’s localisation strategy.

The retailer operates 690 department stores under the nameplates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and more than 180 specialty stores that include Bloomingdale’s The Outlet, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage and Story.

18 months ago it restructured its merchandising operations to boost speed and responsiveness. The changes saw the consolidation of merchandising, planning and private brands into a single simplified merchandising organisation led by Kantor.

Feeding into this new merchandising structure are strengthened customer insights and data analytics, which the company is expanding to include inventory replenishment and pricing capabilities.

The retail group most recently upped its full-year guidance on the back of higher third-quarter earnings and sales, inc which net income more than doubled to US$62m and sales were up 2.3% to $5.40bn, supported by a 3.1% uplift in comparables.

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