Nordstrom, Inc. has announced two new appointments that are bringing the department store in the direction of the “Store of the Future.” The company created a new executive team role, Chief Innovation Officer, and named long-time company leader Geevy Thomas to the position. It also announced Karen McKibbin as president, Nordstrom Rack.
Geevy Thomas Named Chief Innovation Officer
“Our new Chief Innovation Officer and his team will lead the most forward-looking customer-centric effort that Nordstrom has taken on to date,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom.
“Our business was founded and built over the years through our full-line stores, and today they still represent the largest portion of our sales volume. However, the way customers are choosing to shop in a more digitally-connected world continues to change, and we know we need to find ways for our stores to evolve with them. This is a challenge, but we also see a tremendous opportunity to leverage our stores in ways that will allow us to serve customers into the future better than anyone else.
Over the past few years, Nordstrom has worked to deliver a more seamless, personalized and relevant shopping experience for customers by enhancing its stores, Nordstrom.com site, and Nordstrom app. The Nordstrom Innovation team will be tasked with helping the company ideate how its full-line stores of the future will better serve customers through further integration of digital and mobile.
“We’re looking to answer big questions and to get there, we’re giving our Nordstrom Innovation team the ability to move quickly and boldly to find solutions for the stores of tomorrow right out of the gate today,” continued Nordstrom. “Creating a fully separate team will help remove restrictions or boundaries around what’s possible for the Innovation team to test and try.”
Thomas brings 34 years of experience in all areas of Nordstrom to this role, beginning as a salesperson and then moving into store, regional and buying management roles. He most recently served as the company’s president of Nordstrom Rack. “Geevy is known as a customer-first, visionary leader. That deep knowledge, along with his curiosity and energy to try new things, make him uniquely positioned to take on this role. We’re excited for what’s to come for our customers.”
Karen McKibbin Named President, Nordstrom Rack
With Thomas moving to his new role, the company also announced Karen McKibbin will assume the role of president, Nordstrom Rack. In this position she will support the company’s 215 Nordstrom Rack stores, including operations, merchandising, strategy, finance and store planning, focused on continuing to serve more customers with speed and convenience, gain market share and grow the company’s store presence in top retail centers around the country.
“Karen has been with Nordstrom for 30 years in a variety of roles and has always proven to be a leader who consistently delivers results, develops talent and innovates to deliver to our customers,” said Blake Nordstrom. “She is the right person to take on our Rack business as it continues to evolve with the needs of our customers and we know she’ll drive results and growth into its next chapter.”
Prior to this new role, McKibbin was the company’s first president of Nordstrom Canada. She was named to the role in 2012, leading the company’s efforts to serve customers through its first international venture. In that role she and her team opened five of the company’s six planned stores (with one to come in 2017).
“Karen was instrumental in building an infrastructure that allowed us to enter the Canadian market, first with full-line stores and soon with Nordstrom Racks to come,” Nordstrom continued. “The entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility and creativity that she brought into that role will serve us well in the Rack as well.”
McKibbin began her Nordstrom career in 1985 as a stockperson. Over the years, her assignments have included salesperson, department manager, buyer and store manager. In 1999, she was named vice president, Los Angeles regional manager and has led three additional regions since then – the Northeast, where she pioneered the company’s entry into the competitive Boston market; the South, where she supported the company’s fastest-growing region; and Northern California and Hawaii, where she drove the company’s strongest same-store sales growth in California.