Claire’s taps Bath & Body Works vet for CFO-COO role - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Friday, December 1, 2023

Claire’s taps Bath & Body Works vet for CFO-COO role


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Dive Brief:

  • Teen fashion retailer Claire's announced on Thursday that it appointed finance veteran Chris Cramer, whose background includes a 20-year stint at Bath & Body Works, to serve as its CFO and Chief Operating Officer.

  • Cramer, who most recently served as president of Parade, a Gen Z-focused intimate and lifestyle apparel retailer, will oversee Claire's finance, supply chain, technology and North America real estate teams, as the company seeks to further position itself as a “global fashion brand powerhouse,” according to a press release. He will report directly to Claire's CEO Ryan Vero.

  • “With a track record of over 25 years of high-performance industry experience, Chris brings demonstrated operational and financial leadership and a passion for collaboration to our organization,” Vero said in the release.

Dive Insight:

Cramer joined Claire's in late October following the departure of its previous finance chief, Michael Schwindle, a company spokesperson told sister publication CFO Dive. Schwindle currently serves as CFO for handbag and luggage design company Vera Bradley, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before his new role, Cramer held a variety of leadership posts at Bath & Body Works, including COO from September 2020 to August 2022 and CFO from April 2009 to June 2013. He started at Bath & Body Works in 2005 when it was part of L Brands, having previously joined L Brands in 2001. He also previously served in financial management roles at IBM.

Claire's announced over the summer that it decided to postpone a plan to go public.

“In light of public equity market conditions, we have decided to postpone our IPO while we continue to focus on our strategic initiatives,” Vero said in an emailed statement provided to Retail Dive at the time. “We look forward to renewing our IPO preparation when market conditions are more favorable.”

The retailer was taken private in 2007 after agreeing to be acquired by Apollo Management for $3.1 billion. It filed for an initial public offering in September 2021, after emerging from bankruptcy and then reporting a huge boost in sales.

Headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Claire’s supplies jewelry, cosmetics, accessories and ear piercings for tweens, teens and young girls. The company operates under two brand names: Claire’s and ICING. It runs 2,300 Claire’s stores in 17 countries throughout North America and Europe and 190 ICING stores in North America, in addition to selling products in thousands of concessions locations, according to its website.

In recent years, the chain has expanded its reach via partnerships with other retailers, including Kohl’s, Macy’s and Walmart.

Cramer’s appointment follows a June announcement by Claire’s that Claudia Lima-Guinehut was named its chief merchandising officer. She previously served as a Children's Place executive.


Alexei Alexis, Khareem Sudlow