Mr John to lead Claire's & Icing North American businesses
March 28, 2008 - United States Of America
Claire's Stores Inc a leading specialty retailer offering value-priced jewelry and accessories, has named John A. Zimmermann as President, North America reporting to Gene Kahn, Claire's CEO.
John will lead the Claire's and Icing North American businesses. He has direct responsibility for merchandising and operations of more than 2,100 stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and will participate as a key leader within the Corporate Senior Management Team helping to establish future global direction.
He spent the last six years with the Zale Corporation, most recently as Corporate Group President and President, Zale North America.
John Zimmermann is an important addition to our Company's management team. He brings to Claire's an extensive retail background and proven track record based on the skills he has developed over three decades of successfully operating and growing businesses within the specialty retail arena.
He has strong merchandising experience that produced excellent revenue performance with commensurate financial results.
"Claire's North America is our largest division and an important segment of our business. We are very pleased to have John, with his impressive credentials and capabilities, providing the leadership to take our business forward," said Gene Kahn.
"I am excited by this addition to our team based on John's experience and achievements, which have encompassed growing revenue, expanding gross margin and managing inventory while always remaining focused on the customers' expectations.
He will be a valuable addition in strengthening our merchandising, planning and allocation, store operations, and marketing efforts in North America."
"Claire's represents a significant opportunity and I am delighted to join such an outstanding retail team," said John Zimmermann.
"My experiences are very relevant to Claire's goals, and I am confident that together we will be able to build upon the Company's record of accomplishment."
Starting as an executive trainee in 1981 with John Wanamaker, the Philadelphia, PA-based department store, John went on to hold senior merchandising and executive positions with retail chains that included Federated Department Stores, The Children's Place and Bon Marche, Carter Hawley Hale's The Broadway Stores and Contempo Casuals, as well as Bradlees.
At Zale, as a Corporate Senior Vice President and President of Zale Canada Company, he led a successful turnaround of the company.
In his most recent Zale assignment as President, North America, a 990-store $1.4 billion jewelry retailer with units in the U.S, Canada and Puerto Rico, he addressed challenging issues that embraced merchandising, sales, marketing and operational improvement.
John succeeds Lisa LaFosse, who served Claire's for 17 plus years and contributed greatly to the success the Company enjoyed.
She joined Claire's as a District Sales Manager and then held progressively more senior roles ultimately assuming theposition of President, North America.
"Lisa is leaving to spend more time with her family and to pursue other opportunities. We offer our gratitude and appreciation for her many years of service to Claire's," said Gene Kahn.