May 2, 2022 – New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of industry veteran Sumi Scott as the chief merchant officer for Merrell, a leading outdoor performance and lifestyle brand. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sumi to Merrell – we believe her extensive experience, merchant mindset, and passion for the outdoors is perfectly aligned with our team and brand,” said Chris Hufnagel, Merrell’s global brand president. “As a consumer-centric, data-driven merchant, we know Sumi will play a pivotal role in further propelling Merrell’s growth as a global leader in the outdoor industry.”
As chief merchant officer, Ms. Scott will lead Merrell’s global product merchandising organization, helping to advance the brand while reinforcing its legacy as a definitive category leader. With nearly 20 years of experience in product development and retail merchandising, she will help spearhead the evolution of Merrell’s global growth strategies, while establishing the brand’s roadmap to future category growth. Ms. Scott is also responsible for overseeing the transformation of Merrell’s apparel and accessories business, while leading merchandising for the brand’s direct-to-consumer operations. She will report directly to Mr. Hufnagel.
Prior to joining Merrell, Ms. Scott spent nearly 20 years in product and merchandising leadership roles with other prominent outdoor and lifestyle brands such as The North Face and Canada Goose, In these roles, she was responsible for leading strategic and transformational initiatives, where her experience spanned from launching new categories to elevating the product storytelling and go-to-market processes. “With a proven track record of driving growth and developing compelling product assortments, Ms. Scott’s approach will complement Merrell’s leadership team and add key skills as the brand continues to build upon its rich heritage, while charting new areas to drive future, sustainable growth,” the company said.
“For years, I have admired Merrell’s passion and commitment to the outdoors – I’m so honored by this opportunity to join such a dynamic and progressive team,” said Ms. Scott. “I was attracted to Merrell because of the vision of the brand and the team, which is why I look forward to working alongside of these trailblazers and doing my part to elevate the consumer-first mindset across the brand’s product innovation and retail experience to help drive accelerated growth and further establish Merrell’s positioning as a head-to-toe performance and lifestyle brand.”
Merrell was established in 1981 when two executives for the Rossignol ski company, Clark Matis and John Schweizer, decided to launch a new maker of hiking boots. Since 1997, the company has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of shoe industry giant Wolverine World Wide. Today, as the global leader in outdoor active footwear with the Moab hiking boot and Jungle Moc, Merrell is focused on merging performance, styling, and comfort.
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.
Brenda Malloy is the president of Herbert Mines. She brings over 40 years of experience to Herbert Mines Associates. During her career, she has authored numerous articles on retail CEO succession, omnichannel leadership, in addition to being a featured speaker at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York City. Working with leading retailers at the senior most levels to assemble winning leadership teams, Ms. Malloy primarily recruits board directors, CEOs, and their direct reports for publicly traded, privately held and private equity backed companies spanning vertical specialty, lifestyle and branded retail, off-price/value, grocery, hardlines, mass, and the specialty department store sectors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media