Exceptional brand strategist and merchant tapped to lead the buying and merchandising team for the iconic teen footwear retailer
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 5, 2024--
Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO) announced today the appointment of Chris Santaella as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of the Journeys Group, effective February 5, 2024. Santaella replaces Pete Hicks who retired in October 2023.
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Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO) announced today the appointment of Chris Santaella as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of the Journeys Group, effective February 5, 2024. Santaella replaces Pete Hicks who retired in October 2023. (Photo: Business Wire)
An accomplished and diversified global merchant, Santaella will lead Journeys’ buying, merchandising, planning and product strategies, building on Journeys foundation as a leader in teen fashion footwear retail and its brand mission of “an attitude you can wear” self-expression inspired by youth culture.
“Chris is an experienced industry veteran and brand strategist who brings a proven track record of leading global product teams. His exceptional brand leadership and strategic vision, coupled with his passion and commitment to youth culture, is the perfect fit to lead the talented Journeys buying and merchandising team as we continue our work to elevate and evolve the business for the future,” said Genesco Board Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer Mimi E. Vaughn.
Santaella joins Journeys from Foot Locker, where he served more than three decades in successive roles, most recently as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer responsible for Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports. He led a 125-person global product organization which included divisional buying teams, global product development and product strategy teams. In this role he developed and implemented global product strategies to drive and diversify Foot Locker’s business model, including successfully expanding Foot Locker’s brand portfolio through a curated consumer focused approach. Santaella will report to Andy Gray, Journeys president.
“I look forward to partnering with Chris, with whom I’ve worked closely with for many years of my career. He’s a highly respected industry leader known for his collaborative management style and successful long-term brand relationships who will strongly complement our already outstanding team,” said Journeys President Andy Gray. “Journeys is an iconic concept in teen fashion footwear, synonymous with many of the best global brands in the industry. Chris’ deep experience will help us build upon this solid foundation as we define the next chapter of Journeys’ growth.”
About Chris Santaella
Santaella joins Genesco from Foot Locker where he served in a variety of senior leadership positions. From his early career as a buyer and merchandiser, he rose through the ranks to vice president of footwear, responsible for buying for men’s Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker, and subsequently to vice president and general merchandise manager for Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Footaction. He later took on the more senior roles of vice president and general manager North America for Kids Foot Locker, where he led the team across all functions including product, planning, allocation, marketing and finance, followed by vice president and chief product strategist for Foot Locker North America, where he was responsible for developing and leading a new merchant organization to transform a legacy product organization. Santaella rounded out his career at Foot Locker as senior vice president and chief product officer, and finally chief merchandising officer.
About Genesco Inc.
Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO) is a footwear focused company with distinctively positioned retail and lifestyle brands and proven omnichannel capabilities offering customers the footwear they desire in engaging shopping environments, including approximately 1,350 retail stores and branded e-commerce websites. Its Journeys, Little Burgundy and Schuh brands serve teens, kids and young adults with on-trend fashion footwear that inspires youth culture in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Johnston & Murphy serves the successful, affluent man and woman with premium footwear, apparel and accessories in the U.S. and Canada, and Genesco Brands Group sells branded lifestyle footwear to leading retailers under licensed brands including Levi’s, Dockers and G.H. Bass. Founded in 1924, Genesco is based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information on Genesco and its operating divisions, please visit www.genesco.com.
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Genesco Financial Contacts
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Source: Genesco Inc.