I am a creative and results-oriented retail executive who has the ability to recognize the best and brightest within an organization. I bring these individuals together to solve complex business issues. The result is the flawless execution of key strategies that drive revenue and dramatically increase profitability.
As Managing Director/COO of Donna Distefano Ltd., I was reponsible for merchandise planning, sales training and recruiting, financial planning and reporting, and the day-to-day operations of the Atelier. Since joining Donna Distefano Ltd. as a consultant, I have re-organized our accounting and reporting system, and implemented a sales forecast and formal budget process. To date, Donna Distefano has enjoyed a sales increase of more than 30% compared to 2009.
Luxury Goods Merchandising
As VP of Retail Operations for Luxury Resorts and Hotels, I was responsible for the merchandising of all resort-operated retail including golf and tennis pro-shops, spa and swim retail, and branded boutiques. As GMM at Little Switzerland, I improved sales of diamond jewelry by more than 40% by streamlining the product assortment and implementing a core replenishment program for best selling styles. I was also responsible for managing the wholesale/licensed boutique arrangements with Coach, Tiffany & Co., and Lalique. Sales from licensed boutiques reached more $8.7 million or 14% of total sales in 2004. As a Director and a VP in merchandising at Tiffany & Co. I was responsible for more than $100 million in sales and $60 million in inventory.
As Vice President of Product Sourcing for Tiffany & Co., I enhanced vendor performance levels by more than 15% through development and coordination of an innovative vendor certification program, emphasizing quality, delivery, and service.
As General Merchandise Manager for Little Switzerland, I developed a five-year merchandising and marketing strategy to transform existing store environments and increase brand awareness throughout the Caribbean. As a seasoned Director of Merchandising at Tiffany & Co., I collaborated with senior management to create a blueprint for an innovative product planning, design, development and product launch process. As a key player in building the new business process, I effectively communicated re-defined merchandising roles and responsibilities to more than 200 professionals while achieving a less than a 3% attrition rate.
Also as VP of Retail Operations for LXR, I developed an exclusive line of signature sportswear for LXR logo shops with a run rate of $1M. As a product development consultant, I created a signature writing instrument collection for Birks & Mayors Inc. I also developed exclusive keepsake baby china sets to be merchandised with signature sterling silver baby gifts. Both collections met expected 2006 Holiday launch deadlines. As a merchandising VP for Tiffany & Co., I supported sales growth of $75M by successfully coordinating activities for a worldwide launch of a luxury watch collection within aggressive time constraints.
As VP of Retail Operations for Luxury Hotels and Resorts, a division of The Blackstone Group, I implemented cost savings strategies in retail operations and retail leasing managment that resulted in more than a $150K contribution to the bottom line.