November 26, 2019 – Retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates has placed John Frascotti and Jim Conroy as new members of the board of directors at Party City Holdco.
“We are pleased to welcome John and Jim to our board and believe their backgrounds are a great addition to the broad experience of our existing board of directors,” said Norman Matthews, Party City director and chairman of the board. “John and Jim are well-established leaders with proven track records of driving growth at consumer companies and we will leverage their valuable insights. We look forward to working with them both as we focus on executing against our growth strategies across our omni-channel business.”
Mr. Frascotti has been president and chief operating officer of Hasbro, the global play and entertainment company, since 2017. He has over 11 years of experience with Hasbro in various senior roles with increasing responsibility, including chief marketing officer from 2008 to 2014 and president of Hasbro Brands from 2014 to 2017. During his tenure, Mr. Frascotti played a critical part in driving a digital first omni-channel approach, executing bold global transformation initiatives and in the re-invention of Hasbro’s portfolio of franchise brands. He also currently serves on the board of directors of Hasbro, Discovery Family Channel, Corus Entertainment, Serious Fun Children’s Network, and is a member of the advisory board for Newman’s Own Foundation.
Mr. Conroy has over 25 years of retail experience and is president, CEO and a director of Boot Barn Holdings, the nation’s leading lifestyle retailer of western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories. Under his leadership, Boot Barn has launched several new private brands and more than tripled its annual revenue, through organic growth and M&A. Prior to joining Boot Barn, Mr. Conroy spent five years, from 2007 to 2012, at Claire’s Stores, one of the world’s leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories, where he served in various senior-level roles. Mr. Conroy also has extensive experience in management consulting including key retail practice leadership roles at Deloitte Consulting and Kurt Salmon Associates.
Party City Holdings is the largest party goods supplier and party retail chain in the world. Party City Holdings is made up of two divisions, Party City Retail Group (PCRG) and AMSCAN Wholesale. Party City employs about 15,000 people on a regular basis and close to 35,000 around the major Halloween season. Party City Retail has more than 900 locations in North America and Puerto Rico and a web presence in 20 countries.
Challenging Retail Sector
Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion & apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, and restaurant, and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work.
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 the 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.
In addition, retail CEO turnover is accelerating. Herbert Mines reported that 58 percent of public retail companies with revenues exceeding $500 million and experienced a chief executive change the past five years. This represents 111 CEO transitions.
“Retail is not dying but it is changing form,” Herbert Mines Associates chairman and CEO Hal Reiter said in a recent report on the retail sector. “We are excited to see that many online retailers continue to open physical locations, expanding from a pure play model to an omni-channel play.”
Herbert Mines Associates Recruits CEO for Sprouts Farmers Market
Following a nationwide search, Herbert Mines Associates recently placed Jack L. Sinclair as the new CEO of Sprouts Farmers Market which is based in Phoenix, AZ. Amin Maredia stepped down last December to pursue other interests. President and COO Jim Nielsen and CFO Brad Lukow had been serving as interim co-CEOs while the search took place.
Many digitally native companies recognize that brick and mortar locations are where customers can immerse in brand culture, and the in-store atmosphere has proven to be a key differentiator for brands to create lasting impressions and returning customers, Mr. Reiter said. “With traditional brands and digital-first retailers converging, the true omni-channel strategy will win. Despite the transformation retail and consumer has seen since 1978, we are proud of our ongoing commitment to quality and our role as partners and thought leaders within the space,” he said.
“We have witnessed an unprecedented amount of change within the consumer and retail industry and the speed of change is accelerating,” said Brenda Malloy, president of Herbert Mines Associates. “Our clients are facing a hyper-competitive convergence of channels, coupled with an information/content overload. With that, CEOs are forced to continually anticipate the ‘what’s next’ to ensure the customer is remaining at the core of decision making and they are continuing to re-evaluate their value proposition & organizational structure to ensure C-suite alignment.”
Convergence is a Complicated Proposition
“At Herbert Mines Associates, demand has been high as we deliver innovative C-suite talent solutions and serve as strategic thought partners to our clients,” she said. “Over the past year, [we] have been a strategic partner to clients in the retail, consumer products and hospitality sectors.”
“Today, leaders who possess strategic agility, raw intellect, business acumen, enterprise level leadership, and digital acumen are in most high demand,” said Ms. Malloy. “Furthermore, in today’s state of disruption, an ability to collaborate, to be flexible/nimble/agile and to have strong communication skills is of the utmost importance. Today’s environment requires those with conviction, vision and clarity to navigate through unchartered waters,” she said. “More specifically, we have seen an increase in the needs of strategic chief people officers, chief strategy officers and the newly created role of chief customer/experience officers.”
When asked about some of the biggest challenges facing the retail sector, Ms. Malloy said with a “hyper-aggressive and competitive environment, digital disintermediation, an abundance of information and the speed of change,” retail companies are struggling to keep up with, let alone get ahead of, the constant disruption.
“Retailers are re-thinking their leadership, understanding that with the convergence of channels (in-store, e-commerce, mobile) comes a convergence of roles and responsibilities,” she said. “As roles converge, hiring talent and/or creating new roles has become a complicated proposition.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media