- Pier 1 Imports is losing its chief financial officer, Jeffrey Boyer, who is joining Fossil Group as CFO, the home furnishings retailer announced Tuesday. Boyer’s departure is effective Oct. 3.
- Boyer, who joined Pier 1 about two years ago, has served on the board of Fossil, a fashion designer and watchmaker, since 2007, according a Pier 1 press release. Pier 1 said it will engage an executive search firm to recruit a new CFO.
- Also on Tuesday, Pier 1 announced that Bhargav Shah is stepping into the retailer’s chief information officer position, effective immediately. Shah has nearly 20 years of technology, digital and supply chain experience, according to Pier 1. Most recently he served as CIO and head of e-commerce at IntegraCore, a global supply chain management company, and CIO and chief technology officer at online retailer Overstock.com. He has also served in IT positions at KPMG, Pfizer and Ernst & Young.
Pier 1’s c-suite has already seen some changes this year. In May, former Kmart chief Alasdair James joined Pier 1 as president and CEO. The departing Boyer said in a Tuesday statement that Pier 1 is "well positioned to drive long-term growth under [James'] leadership."
James joined as the company was beginning to regain some momentum. While the home decor retailer has struggled in earlier quarters, it increased sales and profits in its third quarter after closing 33 stores last year and making changes at remaining ones.
Improvements to stores and supply chain savings have helped put Pier 1 "on a much more positive trajectory," Neil Saunders, GlobalData Retail managing director, said previously in a note emailed to Retail Dive.
Former CEO Alex Smith announced his planned departure in September and officially stepped down at the end of 2016. In the company's fiscal second-quarter report, Chairman Terry London gave Smith props for boosting the retailer’s e-commerce business, which was more or less non-existent when he took over 10 years ago. E-commerce in the latest quarter grew by 28%. But Smith's initial turnaround gains gave way to continued sales struggles last year.
Pier 1 has high hopes that Shah can keep pushing the company’s digital strategy forward. "He brings a diverse skill set that includes IT strategy, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as an impressive track record of driving automation and growth," James said Tuesday in a statement. "Importantly, we also expect to benefit from his retail systems experience. We look forward to Bhargav’s contributions as our organization focuses on [using] more data-driven initiatives to fuel efficiency, sophistication and improved performance."
Going forward, Pier 1’s challenges include the need to make further improvements to merchandising, especially in furniture, a category in which Saunders said the retailer "punches well below its weight."