Caleres has appointed Jay Schmidt as president of the company as part of a number of changes to its leadership structure for a greater alignment with its strategic direction and growth initiatives.
“This transformation will drive a renewed, consumer-focused approach that will combine the know-how of our internal resources with the fresh ideas of new industry talent and draw on the strengths of our entire portfolio in the most efficient and value-creating way possible,” said Diane Sullivan, chairman and chief executive officer. “As we continue to execute on our strategy, it is essential that we position Caleres to capture the growth opportunities we see in this rapidly evolving market environment. This next step will strengthen our significant competencies in product creation, assortment development and brand power and to leverage the substantial investments we’ve made and the progress achieved in our digital capabilities and eCommerce platform.
“At this point in Caleres’ evolution, it’s extremely important that we aggressively manage our business and that we position our strongest leaders to focus on our most important opportunities to advance growth initiatives across the portfolio,” said Sullivan.
As president, Schmidt will assume responsibility for all consumer and brand strategy for Caleres’ portfolio which includes Famous Footwear, Allen Edmonds, Dr. Scholl’s, Naturalizer, Sam Edelman, and Vionic, among others.
Schmidt most recently held the position of division president, Caleres Brand Portfolio. Prior to joining the company in 2009, he spent more than 25 years developing an extensive merchandising, portfolio management and brand marketing experience. He spent ten years with Nine West Group in several capacities and held positions with Lord & Taylor, May Merchandising Corporation and Macy’s.
Additionally, Caleres announced several other changes to its leadership structure by tapping both internal and external talent to support and implement its strategy.
Lydia Park Luis joins Caleres as president, brand portfolio, New York Group with responsibility for the company’s international business. Luis was most recently CEO of Jack Rogers where she oversaw the rebranding and reorganization of the footwear brand. Prior to Jack Rogers, she was chief commercial officer of Rag & Bone and held leadership positions at Tory Burch where she led its U.S. wholesale business and international operations and licensing.
Keith Duplain has been promoted to president, brand portfolio, St. Louis Group. Duplain has been with Caleres for 15 years with more than two decades of experience in the industry. Caleres said Duplain’s creative spirit and change-oriented mindset position him well for this new role and a greater level of responsibility.
As previously announced, effective November 20, 2020, Michael Edwards was named president, Famous Footwear leading Caleres’ largest brand.
“Luis, Duplain and Edwards, in combination with the outstanding leadership of Sam Edelman and Chris Gallagher, will create an even more powerful team as we continue to drive our consumer and brand strategy moving forward,” said Sullivan.
The company has also formed its new digital acceleration team to optimize resources, leverage its capabilities and take advantage of the growth in its e-commerce business.
Willis Hill, Caleres’ senior vice president and chief information officer, will assemble its core digital team to drive e-commerce growth across its portfolio of brands. Hill has been with Caleres for 12 years holding positions of increasing responsibility within the organization.
Photo courtesy Caleres