October 26, 2020 – Retailers are facing major shifts in their businesses that call for “unprecedented responses” by CEOs who can effectively lead through change, intuitively and analytically understand the evolving consumer, and respond to ambiguity, according to search consultants. Developed markets, excess retail capacity, rising prices, the shift to omni-channel retail and the unpredictable pace of change in consumer shopping habits all affect the type of leader that retailers need.
New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates recently partnered with alternative investment firm Bain Capital in the recruitment of Bill Barton as president and CEO of Bob’s Discount Furniture in Manchester, CT. He will succeed Ted English, who has been serving as interim CEO since June, effective Nov. 3. Mr. English will continue in his role as executive chairman and will remain actively involved with the company.
“Bill is an exceptional and customer-centric leader with deep retail and home goods experience,” said Mr. English. “He is the ideal person to work with our talented team to lead Bob’s Discount Furniture through its next phase of growth. Our business has experienced tremendous growth since we reopened our stores with a heavy focus on safety for our customers and our associates. We expect this momentum to continue as we head into the holiday season and plan for 2021 and beyond.”
Mr. Barton has more than three decades of experience developing and leading high-growth businesses. Most recently, he spent 11 years as CEO of California Closets, the category leader in home organization solutions and a unit of FirstService Brands, which is a subsidiary of FirstService Corp. During his tenure, Mr. Barton worked with the leadership team to drive sustained growth by introducing new products and materials, opening the company’s first two U.S. manufacturing plants, launching its e-commerce platform, and creating collaborations with major lifestyle brands including Marquee Brands and Martha Stewart.
Bob’s Discount Furniture is one of the largest and fastest growing furniture retailers in the U.S. Since 2015, the company has more than doubled its store count, from close to 60 locations to 135.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead Bob’s Discount Furniture and build on the company’s outstanding reputation for delivering great values in furniture and mattresses every day,” said Mr. Barton. “The team at Bob’s has built an incredible business and driven a remarkable growth story. I am honored and humbled to join as Bob’s next CEO and to work together with the team to realize Bob’s potential as a leader in omnichannel furniture retail.”
Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion and apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, restaurant and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work.
Following a nationwide search, Herbert Mines Associates recently placed Gil Phipps as the new senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sprouts Farmers Market in Phoenix, AZ. Ms. Malloy also led this search along with managing director Alison Weil and vice president Caitlin Kenefick.
Sprouts also turned to Herbert Mines last year when the company hired Mr. Sinclair as its new CEO. Mr. Sinclair has over 35 years of experience in retail and grocery. He had been CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores, a discount retailer with over 350 locations in the U.S., since 2018. Prior to that, he was its chief merchandising officer for several years.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media