Jones Group creates a new e-commerce position as it closes 170 stores

April 24, 2013 11:02 AM

E-commerce at The Jones Group Inc. appears to be gaining in importance as the apparel retailer hires an executive to oversee web sales and reduces the number of stores it operates.

Milton Pappas, former Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. vice president of e-commerce customer experience, this week joined The Jones Group as president of e-commerce, a Jones Group spokeswoman says. Pappas was at Toys ‘R’ Us for 17 months, and was executive vice president of business development at Redcats USA prior to that, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His appointment is part of the retailer’s move to make e-commerce operations a distinct entity within the company. Previously, e-commerce and retail stores fell under one executive, the spokeswoman says. Jones’ brands include Nine West, Anne Klein, Easy Spirit and Gloria Vanderbilt.

E-commerce sales at Jones accounted for 3% of total sales in 2011—$113.6 million—growing an estimated 55.8% from $72.9 million in 2010. Jones is No. 155 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide.

Pappas takes over command of e-commerce from Ron Offir, former president of Jones Direct Group, which encompassed online and bricks-and-mortar retail, who left in November to join Michael Kors, Holdings Ltd., the spokeswoman says.

Jones announced today a revamp of its store operations that includes closing 170 stores by mid-2014. When done, Jones expects its outlet stores to account for a higher percentage of its store mix than the 66% they accounted for in 2011. At the end of 2011, Jones operated 672 stores. Jones expects the restructuring to cost between $40 million to $60 million over the next 15 months.

Jones also released preliminary first quarter results, which do not break out e-commerce sales. The company reported $17 million in operating income, a 57.7% decrease from $40.2 million in the 2012 Q1. It expects to release its 2013 Q1 results on May 1.

Toys ‘R’ Us is No. 29 in the Top 500.




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