- Only weeks after being split off into a stand-alone e-commerce entity, Saks Off 5th named Shivi Shankaran as chief operating officer, effective Aug. 16, according to information the company sent to Retail Dive. Shankaran will report to Saks Off 5th CEO Paige Thomas.
- Shankaran worked with Amazon for nearly 15 years in a variety of roles across global operations, where he focused on integrating product, engineering, logistics and customer engagement solutions. He has been serving in an advisory capacity to Saks Off 5th.
- Shankaran will oversee e-commerce operations, product management, digital experience, engineering and analytics, fulfillment and transportation, and enterprise systems.
Bringing on an Amazon alumnus is just the start of building a digital ops team that Saks Off 5th said will have "deep experience in all aspects of e-commerce to complement strong off-price experts already in place to drive the business forward."
About a month ago HBC, which also runs the full-line Saks Fifth Avenue store operations, announced that it was establishing Saks Off 5th's digital business as a stand-alone digital company, shortly after making the same move with its full-line e-commerce business. For the off-price e-commerce spinoff, the retailer raised $200 million led by Insight Partners, which ultimately valued the business at around $1 billion, according to the company.
Meanwhile, Saks Off 5th's nearly 105 brick-and-mortar locations remain under another company called O5, although the two Saks businesses are linked through a franchise-like relationship.
At the time of those announcements Thomas said, "There is significant untapped potential within Saks Off 5th's digital business and with the right investments to support our overall customer experience we will drive exponential growth."
Bringing on Shankaran presumably will advance those goals.
This spring, HBC announced that sister company Saks Fifth Avenue was establishing a stand-alone e-commerce company known as Saks. Insight Partners invested $500 million in that spinoff, thereby giving it a minority stake in the new company.