- The Buckle on Thursday said it had elected Thomas B. Heacock vice president of finance, treasurer and chief financial officer, effective immediately. He replaces CFO Karen B. Rhoads, who announced her intent to retire in May.
- Heacock previously served as the company’s vice president of finance, treasurer and corporate controller and has been employed there since October 2003. Before that he was at Ernst & Young.
- The appointment comes after a two-month search, according to a press release from founder and Chairman Daniel J. Hirschfeld.
The Buckle was recently in the news thanks to a significant malware attack that compromised private data of some of the people who had shopped there, despite its installation of state-of-the-art chip-enabled card readers.
But the apparel retailer is struggling with more chronic problems too. Sales have been cascading quarter after quarter (with same-store sales in its first quarter falling 12.7%). The Buckle is beset by a rough retail climate that has been particularly difficult for apparel retailers, with supply-chain dynamics and consumer priorities shifting (especially among the already capricious teen demographic) and rivals jockeying for position in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
The Limited, Wet Seal, American Apparel, Rue21 and True Religion have all declared bankruptcy and shuttered stores, while others, including J. Crew and Lands End, are struggling to regain their footing. Earlier this year Moody's Investors Service found that 13.5% of its retail and apparel portfolio is distressed, compared to 16% during the Great Recession. Debt maturities are also headed toward record levels over the next five years, according to a report released in February.