Sears names ex-Amazon exec to new fulfillment post

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 21, 2015 6:01 PM

(Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp named a former logistics executive at to a new senior role as the retailer seeks to revive itself by focusing on a loyalty program that hinges on integrating its online and store operations.

Sears said in a statement on Monday that Girish Lakshman, 51, would become president of fulfillment, a new position with oversight over supply chain and inventory management.

Lakshman was most recently the vice president of worldwide transportation strategy, technology and customer returns at Amazon, Sears said. He left Amazon in August 2014, according to the website of restaurant ordering and delivery firm GrubHub, where he is a board director.

Sears Chief Executive Edward Lampert said he expects Laksman to help strengthen Shop Your Way, a loyalty program that offers members points and tailored deals. The program accounts for three-quarters of the struggling retailer's overall sales.

"We must better connect our members with the products they want, in the way they want to receive them, and clear any hurdles that might get in the way of those goals," Lampert told employees in a memo on Monday.

As Sears continues to close physical stores, Lampert has said he wants to use technology and better integration of its online operations to squeeze more sales out of members, getting them to buy items they might purchase elsewhere.

Fulfillment could increasingly entail acting as a middleman for other retailer's goods. In May Lampert told shareholders that he wanted to add to a list of partners, which include Burger King and the Gap, that are linked to Shop Your Way.

The appointment of Lakshman is the latest in a recent string of senior hirings at Sears. Last month it named former Johnson & Johnson executive Lynn Pendergrass as president of hardlines, a category of goods that includes appliances, lawn and garden and tools.

And last week Sears announced that Tom Park, who previously worked for divisions of Belkin International and Walt Disney Co, would become president of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands.

(reporting by Nathan Layne in Chicago and Mari Saito in San Francisco; Editing by Christian Plumb)