Madison MacArthur Executive Search - Merchandising Assignments

MERCHANDISING

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Global Sourcing - 6 Director Global Sourcing assignments

Organization
US Retail Company

Situation
This $30 Billion US based retail concern had recently emerged from Chapter 11 status as a much leaner, more focused merchandiser. In order to differentiate themselves and revitalize the organization, they reorganized their overall sourcing initiative into three silos: Buying Group, Design Group and a new Global Sourcing Group. All three would work independently in their areas of expertise but would be interlinked in order to offer improved margins, quality and shelf appeal across their merchandise categories.

Assessment
This new group required candidates that had a depth of experience in various categories spanning from soft lines to home decor. Candidates had to have extensive experience and connections in sourcing from the Orient, Asia, South and Central America as well as other markets. While the career growth potential was excellent for these new recruits, there would likely be some residual resistance to the organization as a result of having come out of Chapter 11 so recently.

Challenge
As the client had been trying to make these hires on their own for some time, the timelines for the searches were extremely tight. There was a global meeting taking place in 4 months that required all of the candidates be in place to attend and the searches had to be completed during the summer with holiday challenges on both the corporate and the candidate side. In addition to specialized experience, there were specific multi lingual language requirements for some of the rolls (Spanish, Portuguese etc.) as well as specialized accreditations and educational credentials. As candidates would be sourced from around the world, it would require relocation to Miami or the US mid west.

Solution
The team at Madison MacArthur worked with the client to establish interview dates prior to starting the search to ensure the executive team would be available. From there, a work back schedule was developed and a long list of target companies was developed - including global sourcing divisions within other retailers as well as international manufacturers and importers. Candidates were recruited from the US, the Orient, Asia, Australia and South and Central America. Extensive phone screens were conducted, the most promising candidates were subsequently interviewed in depth and tested via an on-line profiling tool and final short list candidates were flown to the US offices for personal interviews.

Candidate
The successful candidate for Director Global Sourcing, Soft Lines had extensive experience in key markets including South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. They had a combination of retail and manufacturing experience, they were fluent in English and Spanish and possessed a good working knowledge of Portuguese. The successful candidate for Director Global Sourcing, Home Decor had over 20 years experience sourcing in all key world markets, had a combination of retail and manufacturing background and was fluently trilingual in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Short listed candidates for the other rolls had similarly impressive credentials.

Postmortem
The first 2 hires were made precisely on schedule and shortlists for the remaining positions had been presented as scheduled and were in the interviewing phase when the project was suddenly put on hold. News broke soon thereafter that our client had acquired another major retail organization. As there would be significant duplication of staff resources with this acquisition, the client would now likely have an excess of talent and would redeploy some of these people into the Global Sourcing Group.