Chico's FAS names Jay Topper as new chief digital officer
Fort Myers, Florida-based fashion retailer Chico’s FAS, Inc. announced on Monday that it has appointed 20-year industry veteran Jay Topper as its chief digital officer.
In his new role, Topper will oversee the company’s technology, infrastructure and security, as well as supply chain and logistics. He will report directly to Chico’s FAS president and CEO Molly Langenstein.
He joins Chico’s FAS from floral retailer and wholesaler FTD, where, over the last four years, he has played a vital role in driving the company’s e-commerce business as chief digital officer. In this role, he was also instrumental in overseeing the products and technology functions and supply chain.
Before FTD, the executive held the role of chief technology officer at supplement and health food e-tailer Vitacost, leading the company’s technology, fulfillment, distribution, social media and customer service.
Topper’s more than two decades of experience also include time spent at language learning software company Rosetta Stone, where he served as SVP of customer success. In this position, he was responsible for technology, CRM, learning engagement and customer service.
“Jay is an experienced leader with a proven track record of increasing consumer engagement and revenue. He will be instrumental in creating a seamless end-to-end customer experience and identifying customer friction points and unlocking sales and growth in our company,” said Langenstein in a release. “As we continue to position ourselves as a digital-first and customer led company, I am proud to welcome Jay to Chico's FAS.”
Like many of its peers, Chico’s FAS, which owns the Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma brands, has suffered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year. The company reported a net loss of $360.1 million, or $3.11 loss per diluted share, for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021, while annual net sales totaled $1.3 billion, down 35% from $2.0 billion in the previous year.
As the retailer has moved to adapt to the challenges posed by the health crisis, it has accelerated its transformation into a digital-first company. Topper’s appointment therefore comes as Chico’s FAS seeks to strengthen its digital organization in order to support the continued growth of its online business.
The company’s annual digital sales improved 17.5% in 2020, progress led by an increase of 72% in Soma’s digital channel.
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