Macy’s has tapped Hal Lawton to serve as its next president, succeeding Jeff Gennette, who is now the retailer’s CEO. Lawton comes to Macy’s from eBay, where he held the role of senior vice president. He will officially join Macy’s on Sept. 8.
While at eBay, Hal Lawton oversaw the company’s Americas category, where he assisted with such initiatives as guaranteed delivery in three days or fewer for scores of products, and was a key player in the company’s price-matching program. Under the Price Match Guarantee system, eBay will match the price of more than 50,000 products if consumers find the same item from a competitor, as long as eBay sells the product under its eBay Deals trend section.
Lawton was also known as an integral member of eBay's turnaround initiative after the company and PayPal parted ways in 2015. Prior to his tenure at eBay, Lawton was a longtime retail veteran and spent over 10 years at The Home Depot, where he served as senior vice president of merchandising and also led the firm’s eCommerce unit.
Under Jeff Gennette’s direction as Macy’s CEO, the company recently announced news that it will eliminate approximately 100 staff positions during a restructuring effort in its data analytics and merchandising units. The company aims to consolidate private label, planning and merchandising responsibilities into one department, which is the impetus for the staff cuts.
Macy’s is coming off its 10th consecutive quarter of declines, as sales have continued to dip. Sales in the most recent quarter were down 2.8 percent, and the company projected the declines to continue dropping by 3.2 to 4.3 percent going forward.
The retailer has seen a bright spot in several departments, however, such as shoes, jewelry, furniture and mattresses. Macy’s also saw growth among digital sales, particularly on mobile devices. On the down side, housewares and cosmetics have not contributed positively to the bottom line.