Mark A. Cohen, who has served as Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s chief marketing officer and president of soft lines, has been named chairman-CEO of Sears Canada. Mr. Cohen succeeds Paul Walters, who left. No replacement for Mr. Cohen was named immediately. David Selby, senior VP-retail marketing, currently serves as Mr. Cohen's second in command. Mr. Cohen, 52, had experience in merchandising and retail management when he took over Sears' marketing in September 1999 at a time when its "softer side" campaign had run its course. He mobilized the retailer's agencies, WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, New York and Chicago, into production of a new tag line, "The good life at a great price." Guaranteed." Ads moved away from softer branding efforts into an aggressive litany of special sales, including some heavy promotions with strong media weights during the holiday season. Sears nevertheless most recently reported a 40 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit and announced closure of 89 specialty stores. The changes at Sears are the latest in a series of marketing changes at major retailers nationally as they face cautious consumers.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.