Yesterday Hudson’s Bay Co., the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, named CVS executive Helena Foulkes as its first female CEO after serving as executive vice president of pharmacy giant CVS. This is notable on a number of fronts. First is that we have another sorely needed female CEO in the ranks of the Fortune 500. Foulkes was also recently ranked among the most influential women in business by Fortune magazine. She will have a tall order seeking to improve both the company’s physical and online sales.
At CVS Foulkes was responsible for retail operations, including its nearly 9,700 retail stores, 20 distribution centers and e-commerce sites. There is news here as we consider that an iconic and struggling retail brand turned to an executive who hails from the drug and personal care arena.
As I thought about it, I realized that is not too farfetched. CVS, along with Walgreens, is overhauling their physical presence and e-commerce delivery systems, and what they have learned may unlock Hudson Bay’s recipe for a turnaround. As an added benefit, I am sure that Foulkes will also provide Saks shoppers with an opportunity to get their flu shot while at the cosmetics bar.