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Big changes in store at Vera Bradley

Former Kohl’s and Carhartt merchandising executive Sue Fuller was named chief merchandising officer at Vera Bradley, an upscale retailer and designer brand looking to restore growth under the leadership of new CEO Robert Wallstrom.

Fuller joins Vera Bradly to fill the newly created head merchant position from Carhart where she served as SVP/GMM. Prior to that, she held positions with Polo Ralph Lauren, Land’s End, L.L. Bean and Kohl’s. In her new role, Fuller is tasked with building and communicating a compelling vision for Vera Bradley's growth through line and brand extensions and ensuring consistency of the brand.

Vera Bradley is a designer of women's handbags and accessories, luggage and travel items, eyewear, stationery and gifts. Founded in 1982, the company operates 84 full price stores and 15 outlet stores and also sells to specialty stores and department stores.

President and CEO Robert Wallstrom said Fuller’s talent and passion will bring more discipline to Vera Bradley’s merchandising processes.

“Her broad experience across various merchandise categories and price points added to our strong design organization will help us strengthen our current assortments, grow revenues and deliver solid margin results while further engaging our customer,” Wallstrom said.

He joined the company last November as president, CEO and a member of the board amid sagging sales for the iconic American brand. Wallstrom is intent on broadening the brand’s customer base, entering new markets and expanding the product offering.

Prior to Vera Bradley, Wallstrom served as president of Saks Fifth Avenue’s Off Fifth division and also led the upscale retailer’s high volume flagship location in Manhattan. A 30 year department store veteran, Wallstrom nearly doubled the Off Fifth store count to 71 units during his tenure.
 

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