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Rocky start for Coach comeback

Excerpt from Crain’s New York Business – November 10,  2014

“Coach did a phenomenal job at marketing their brand at their price point, and they were the only game in town,” said Elaine Hughes, who runs retail-executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co. “Now someone’s come in and it’s competition.”


Rocky start for Coach comeback
Article by Adrianne Pasquarelli

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Art Peck to Succeed Glenn Murphy at Gap

Excerpt from – October 8, 2014

Elaine Hughes, president of executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co., noted that “Glenn was not a conventional choice for the ceo role and came under fire from Wall Street for not showing results fast enough. However, his strategic approach to reviving the business’ profitability proved Wall Street wrong.”

Hughes said Peck’s recent roles at Gap have “provided him with the experience to navigate through the complexity of the hyperglobal environment of tech-induced consumerism. Product is important, but the environment and mechanism to satisfy the customer are critical. Art gets that.”


Art Peck to Succeed Glenn Murphy at Gap (paid subscription to required)
Article by David Moin


Help wanted: These 9 retailers need a CEO

Excerpt from CNBC – July 21, 2014

Elaine Hughes, founder and CEO of executive search firm E.A. Hughes, said the problem is far too prevalent in the industry.

“Part of the [retail CEO’s] responsibility is to create succession planning,” Hughes said. “They get a little confused, particularly in publicly traded companies. They think the name on the door is theirs and it’s not.”

…But another factor behind retail’s more limited talent pool is that many young people with financial knowledge opt to work on Wall Street or in private equity, she said.

“A lot of young people don’t necessarily see retail as a burgeoning career,” E. Hughes said.


Help wanted: These 9 retailers need a CEO
Article by CNBC’s Krystina Gustafson

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Garmento Lafayette 148 aims for China

Excerpt from – June 23, 2014

“For women who want to have a contemporary, tailored fit, there’s few [options],” said Elaine Hughes, chief executive of retail executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co. “Even in stores like [Saks and Neiman], its just private label business [the store’s own brands] at those price points.”


Garmento Lafayette 148 aims for China
Article by Adrianne Pasquarelli

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Target Faces Difficult CEO Search

Excerpt from – June 19, 2014

“Murphy would be a great hire,” said Elaine Hughes, founder and CEO of E.A. Hughes & Co. “He didn’t necessarily have a track record in the [apparel] industry when he was hired at The Gap,” she said. “But Gap understood that the company was full of merchants.” Murphy cut his teeth at Lobloaws in Canada, “a supermarket chain that delivered to the market some very good candidates,” said Hughes. “You don’t have a lot of U.S. executives with that exposure. You could look into packaged good companies. Starbucks has done a good job and Pepsi within its ranks has multi brand strategy. TJX has global distribution.”

Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of the TJX Cos. Inc., is admired for running 3,000 stores in six countries since 2007 and taking revenues from about $16 billion to about $27 billion. In fiscal 2013, revenues and profits grew by double digits. Hughes believes Meyrowitz or one of her deputies would be a good candidate for the Target job. “Carol Meyrowitz took care of the whole credit card issue,” she said. “However, [TJX executives] don’t leave so readily and the people closest to Carol Meyrowitz are are close to the succession plan.”

For most retailers, succession is just a natural part of a retail’s circle of life, but to the surprise of experts, Target didn’t have a succession plan in place. “Some companies circulate their management so they have exposure to all areas of the company,” said Hughes. Wal-Mart moves executives across departments and geographies. But Target doesn’t seem to have a very deep bench when it comes to talent.


Target Faces Difficult CEO Search (paid subscription required)
Article by Sharon Edelson