News Briefs


Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Appoints Chief Digital Officer


Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer's) — a distributor of beverage alcohol — has appointed Alan Wizemann as its chief digital officer (CDO), effective August 15, 2023.

The appointment reflects Southern Glazer's continued commitment to investing in digital and analytics across its enterprise. Wizemann’s vast experience leading large-scale digital transformations is expected to propel the company towards a digital-forward culture, unlocking new growth opportunities.

"We are thrilled to welcome Alan Wizemann to Southern Glazer's as our Chief Digital Officer," said David Chaplin. "His track record of success in building and leading digital organizations, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit, aligns perfectly with our culture and vision for the future. Alan's expertise will be instrumental in ensuring we continue to deliver exceptional value to our suppliers, customers and teams. I am confident that Alan will help drive the next digital chapter in the Southern Glazer’s story.”

With decades of experience in digital product development, omnichannel experiences, technology, and entrepreneurship, Wizemann has been instrumental in shaping and transforming the digital landscape for some of the world's most well-known consumer companies. At Target Corporation, he launched and led key digital initiatives across, Target Mobile, and Cartwheel, which became an industry leading mobile platform, as Target's VP of Product, & Mobile.

Wizemann also held digital leadership roles driving transformation at Lululemon Athletica Inc., Goop, WebMD, Dollar Shave Club, quip, and most recently, Munchkin Inc. His approach to product strategy, user-centric design, and building agile teams at scale has consistently delivered results. Wizemann is an engineer at heart who has delivered effective solutions in complex environments, and he is a proven entrepreneur who has built and scaled digital capabilities and fostered a culture of innovation.

In his new role, Wizemann will report to chief growth officer David Chaplin and assume responsibility for the company’s enterprise-wide digital initiatives — including its B2B eCommerce Proof platform. He will build on the success of Proof, which was developed and cultivated under the guidance of John Wittig, chief commercial officer. Wizemann will also focus his efforts on additional digital initiatives to further strengthen Southern Glazer’s capabilities beyond commercial applications across the organization by leading the delivery of differentiating digital and AI capabilities across its value chain.


Richard Dickson Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer at Gap

Richard Dickson

Former Mattel executive Richard Dickson has been appointed the new president and chief executive officer of Gap, Inc., which includes fashion brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta.

Dickson will assume the role effective August 22nd and previously served on the Gap, Inc. Board of Directors.

"Richard has invaluable expertise in areas critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term,” said lead independent director, Mayo A. Shattuck III.

Dickson recently served as Mattel's president and chief executive officer, leading a global corporate transformation that invigorated their iconic brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Fisher-Price. He brings previous experience in global design, development, and marketing for retailers like The Jones Group and Bloomingdale’s, and he also was co-founder of, a high-end cosmetics retailer. 

"Gap Inc. is a portfolio of iconic brands known for having defined American style with bold thinking and making quality fashion accessible to millions. But it's the work ahead that excites me most - the chance to work hand-in-hand with the teams to evolve Gap Inc. for a new era,” Dickson said.

Interim chief executive officer Bobby Martin will continue as board chair, helping the organization transition smoothly.

Martin added, "Amidst a deliberate and thoughtful search process, it became clear that Richard is destined for this role at this moment. His experience as a proven transformational brand builder and belief in the power of inclusivity makes him a perfect fit for Gap Inc.”

This isn’t the only recent leadership change with Gap. They recently appointed Chris Blackeslee as the new president and chief executive officer at Athleta, and he will assume that role starting August 7th. Before joining Athleta, Chris was president of sister companies Alo Yoga and Bella+Canvas. 


Gap Inc. Names President and CEO of Athleta


Gap Inc. has named Chris Blakeslee as the new president and CEO of Athleta. Blakeslee most recently served as president of sister companies Alo Yoga and Bella+Canvas since 2017.

Blakeslee will join the company August 7 and drive strategic growth for Athleta. He brings broad expertise in the apparel retail and wholesale industries, holding roles across marketing, sales, product portfolio management, operations, and supply chain.

In his time there, Alo Yoga grew to over $1 billion in sales in 2022, nearly doubling its year-over-year growth. At the same time, Blakeslee led the expansion of premium apparel wholesaler Bella+Canvas into the retail space, offering customers direct access to product both online and in stores.

Prior to this, Blakeslee held several senior positions at Broder Brothers (now Alphabroder), a wholesale distributor of branded products and services. He began his career in industrial manufacturing and distribution. Blakeslee holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

"I'm thrilled to join the Gap Inc. team and to lead Athleta – a brand I've long admired. I see incredible runway for the brand to capitalize on its unique, purpose-led positioning and performance product innovation, leveraging its assets across marketing, stores, product and community to deliver consistent growth," said Blakeslee. "There is something really captivating about the 'Power of She' when it comes to engaging women and girls in all aspects of life, and I can't wait to jump in with the teams to harness this in a way that will further serve customers' wants and needs."

"A true brand champion, Chris is known for driving results in high-growth businesses through the blend of creativity and operational rigor," said Bob Martin, executive chairman and interim CEO, Gap Inc. "Chris is a strong, decisive leader and proven business driver across multiple industries, including active apparel and wellness – one of the fastest and most aspirational retail sectors – making him well suited to guide Athleta into long-term, sustainable growth rooted in delivering high-quality performance product and a rich omni shopping experience."


Lily Pulitzer Automates In-Store Processes in Partnership with Oracle

Lily Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is partnering with Oracle Cloud to automate the in-store processes, delivering better solutions to support their customers and associates. The retailer recently implemented the mobile Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service (POS) system and Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service to streamline automation efforts and scale services for in-store shopping. 

 “POS technology should automate processes, streamline transactions, and deliver quick scale without the customer even noticing,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president, and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Our goal is to enable sales associates to stay focused and available throughout the entire shopping experience ensuring customers get the attention they deserve.”

Working in collaboration with Deloitte and Oracle Retail Consulting, Lily Pulitzer integrated the Oracle Retail Xstore POS system based on its proven industry performance, including its ability to scale, continuous updates and innovations, and leading platform capabilities. Oracle Xstore Office Cloud Service allowed the retailer to integrate promotions like “Gift with Purchase” and loyalty program offers directly into the POS system.

“The new Oracle mobile POS allows our associates to execute a seamless transaction from anywhere in the store, capture data to grow the loyalty program, and review purchase history to make real-time recommendations,” said Rachael Crews, VP of Digital Commerce, Customer Engagement, Lilly Pulitzer. “Having this intelligence at their fingertips can be a game changer in moving our customers from browsers to buyers.”

Using tablets, these cloud-based solutions provide associates with customer and store data, including the customer’s past purchase history and current store inventory levels.

“With Oracle Retail Xstore POS, our associates now have the time and tools to effectively engage with and delight our customers during pivotal moments in their shopping experience,” said Michelle Kelly, CEO, Lilly Pulitzer.

Lily Pulitzer has over 50 Signature stores nationwide, and their products are featured online and in retail stores and major department store chains.


Save Mart Launches Retail Media Network

Retail media

California-based grocery retailer The Save Mart Companies (TSMC) is launching its own retail media network to leverage advertising opportunities across its supplier partnerships on the Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx websites.

The company has partnered with omnichannel solutions provider Swiftly to offer consumer targeting capabilities and personalization opportunities across the websites, including coupon clipping, retail media placements, loyalty and rewards experiences, product browsing, weekly ads, sign-in and store locator, app carousel, run of site, and run of category. 

"The Save Mart Companies' digital transformation journey is foundational to the company's growth plan, including omnichannel engagement, loyalty, and efficiency," said Tamara Pattison, senior vice president and chief digital officer at TSMC. "Not only can we provide our CPG partners greater opportunities to expand their digital relationships with our growing customer base, but we can also enable them to drive greater performance and growth with improved targeting and measurement capabilities."

Several retailers are continuing to invest in retail media. While major companies like Kroger — which has achieved fraud safety certification once again for its program — and Walmart, have established retail media networks, others are launching new programs or expanding existing efforts. 

Sam’s Club, for example, recently shared it will be providing its Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP) retail media network access to the MAP Partners Club, which includes three technology companies — CommerceIQ, Pacvue, and Skai — and two managed service partners — Flywheel and Stackline. This will provide advertisers with access to comprehensive resources, including advanced campaign analytics, real-time, intelligently retargeted display advertising, bidding and budget optimization, as well as sponsored product ads and promotional technologies. 


Trader Joe's Names New Incoming CEO


Trader Joe’s longtime CEO, Dan Bane, is retiring at the end of the company’s fiscal year. The company has named Bryan Palbaum as Bane’s successor.

Palbaum will take over as chairman and CEO on July 2, 2023, with Jon Basalone stepping up to become vice CEO and president of Trader Joe's Company. Prior to this appointment, Palbaum spent 10 years as the company’s president and chief operations officer, while Basalone started out as a Trader Joe’s store associate 33 years ago and most recently served as president of stores. 

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Bane has been with the company for over 25 years and has spent the last 22 as chairman and CEO. During his tenure, Trader Joe’s has expanded to include 543 grocery stores in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C, with little signs of slowing down. Just this year, the number 8 preferred grocery retailer has been working to expand its footprint, announcing the opening of new stores in Sarasota, Florida, and Cypress, California. 

Commenting on the news, Palbaum said: "We are thankful for Dan's leadership over the past 22 years. Jon and I look forward to working with all Crew Members to continue to grow Trader Joe's.”