Bergdorf Goodman Poaches Amazon Exec To Be Its Next Boss
Who says you can’t go home?
Neiman Marcus Group said on Monday that one of its alumnae, Darcy Penick was returning to the company to head its ultra-luxe Bergdorf Goodman department stores as president after several years heading Amazon’s (AMZN) upscale Shopbop fashion site.
Penick, who started her career in retail at Neiman Marcus with stints at both the namesake and Bergdorf stores in 2000, will start her new job on Sept. 4. After Neiman Marcus Group, she worked at Saks Fifth Avenue for a few years.
Her appointment illustrates just how important digital commerce credentials are becoming for retailers when they choose CEOs. Neiman Marcus Group does not break out online sales performances by chain, but the company derives some 34% of its sales online, and the Group’s recently appointed CEO, Geoffrey van Raemdonck, has said that could eventually hit the 50% mark.
“Darcy’s impressive leadership skills coupled with her success in digital and international retail make her the perfect choice to accelerate global growth at Bergdorf Goodman,” Raemdonck said in a statement. He became CEO this winter, replacing longtime boss Karen Katz.
At Amazon, which is still trying to establish itself as a serious source of fashion, not just apparel, Penick overhauled Shopbop, adding more editorial content and giving it a sleeker look—moves similar to what has made Net-à-Porter such a popular e-commerce site for luxury shoppers. Amazon bought Shopbob in 2006.
Penick joined in 2009 and eventually climbed to the CEO job there in 2016. She joins Bergdorf at a time its parent company is contending with the encroachment of the likes of e-commerce sites Net-à-Porter and more recently, Farfetch, on its business.
While Neiman Marcus is undeniably a luxury chain, Bergdorf is on another level entirely, with its iconic Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan one of the priciest luxe department stores in the country. It also operates a smaller, separate men’s store across the street from its flagship.
The top job at Bergdorf Goodman has been vacant for over a year, since Joshua Schulman left in April 2017 to become brand president of Tapestry’s (TPR)Coach brand.