Retail

J.Crew Hires Starbucks’ Former Digital Leader

Starbucks has announced that its digital leader, Adam Brotman, is leaving the company to become the chief experience officer at J.Crew.

According to Reuters, Brotman joined Starbucks in 2009 and was most recently the company’s executive vice president of global retail operations and partner digital engagement. He also served as its chief digital officer, in charge of mobile order and pay, the Starbucks card, loyalty, eCommerce, WiFi and the Starbucks Digital Network.

He will start his new position at J.Crew in mid-March, and will also be a president at the retailer, reporting to Chief Executive Officer James Brett.

“Adam’s experience with global field operations and cutting-edge consumer-facing digital platforms makes him an invaluable partner in shaping and driving J. Crew Group’s strategic initiatives to the next level,” Brett said.

He’s joining J.Crew as the company announced in December that it will be relying on mostly online shopping channels to boost sales and reestablish itself with its customer base.

“We’re customer-first more than anything, and laying into the digital space more heavily where we know the customer to be,” said Vanessa Holden, chief marketing officer. “We’ve been working aggressively to improve the mobile user experience.”

With that in mind, the company is closing 50 locations as in-store sales continue to struggle — down 12 percent year over year during Q3. Revenue for the same quarter was also down 5 percent.

In addition to increasing its digital presence, the company is partnering with WeWork for a panel discussion series and to sell items from its spring collection at several of the co-working company’s locations across the U.S. A portion of the sales will go to local charities, while the talks will focus on professional success and personal fulfillment.

The events and shops allow J.Crew to gain visibility and are another way the retailer is thinking out of the box to increase sales.

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