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Welcome to On the Move. Every week, The Current is rounding up the coming and goings of leaders at brands and retailers across the ecommerce, retail and CPG landscape.
This week, Red Wing Shoe Company appoints its first woman CEO, while Shopware adds a president for US operations. Plus, a look at the leaders taking key roles Purple, StockX and Xero Shoes.
Red Wing Shoe Company promotes new CEO
Allison Gettings. (Courtesy photo)
Allison Gettings was named the next CEO of Red Wing Shoe Company. Gettings, who is currently the company’s president, will succeed Mark Urdahl upon his retirement. A 14-year veteran of the company, Gettings will be the first woman to lead the 117-year-old company. She played a key role in Red Wing's omnichannel adoption, led the launch of the Women's Heritage product line, served as president of the Vasque brand and stood up the company’s first corporate social responsibility department. Gettings is the great granddaughter of J.R. Sweasy, who served as CEO from 1921-1949.
Shopware hires US leader
Jason Nyhus. (Courtesy photo)
Jason Nyhus was appointed president and general manager of US operations for Shopware, the open source ecommerce platform provider. Previously, Nyhus served as an executive at ecommerce company Digital River. Earlier this year, Shopware raised $100 million from investors including Carlyle and PayPal to fuel international expansion. With this hire, the Germany-based company is preparing a stateside push.
“I look forward to helping us become well known in the U.S. market—where the sky's the limit—and further building upon our track record in Europe,” said Nyhus, in a statement.
Purple brings on a new chief marketing officer
Keira Krausz joined DTC mattress brand Purple as chief marketing officer. Krausz succeeds Patrice Varni, who stepped down to pursue other interests. Krausz gained direct-to-consumer experience in past CMO roles with digital health distribution platform HealthPlanOne and weight loss company Nutrisystem, Inc. The hire comes as Purple is weighing an acquisition bid from Coliseum Capital Management that could take the company private.
StockX appoints head of brand protection
Paul Foley is the new head of brand protection at resale marketplace StockX. The role in part oversees product verification, which is a crucial step in ensuring items sold on the marketplace are authentic and deliver value. Foley brings prior experience in this area as well as supply chain and operations. He most recently served as Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Strategy at data intelligence firm Vi3, and also held senior positions at Nike, Converse and Reebok.
“Having built my career working with brands and in product verification, my focus will be on continuing to build StockX’s legacy through investing in new technology, building partnerships with brands, and further evolving its verification process to create the experience customers deserve,” Foley said, in a statement.
Xero Shoes hires VP of product development
John Wadley. (Courtesy photo)
John Wadley joined Xero Shoes this month as VP of product development. Wadley came to the barefoot shoe brand from VF Corp.-owned Altra, where he was director of product innovation and sustainability. The brand said he brings “extensive knowledge and experience in performance running, trail running, and hiking shoe construction,” and will lead continuing innovation in Xero’s line of footwear.
Revieve has a new chief product officer
Irina Mazur was appointed chief product officer at Revieve, a digital beauty platform that employs AI and augmented reality in modules for customers in areas such as skincare, makeup and nutrition. Mazur most recently served as chief commercial officer of Innit, and has also held executive-level roles at LabelInsights and SPINS.
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Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”