As bargain-hungry shoppers descend on Tuesday Morning stores this first Tuesday of the month scouring shelves for deep discounts on high-end housewares and gifts, a new CEO is settling into the executive suite.
Brady Churches, a 20-year Big Lots retail veteran, now heads the 852-store chain headquartered in Dallas. Besides Big Lots, the executive most recently served as president of Columbus, Ohio-based Marketing Results.
Tuesday Morning, whose total net income has slipped from $10.7 million in 2010 to $3.9 million in 2012, sought Churches for his expertise as a master merchandiser — a function desperately needed by the ailing retailer as it looks to breathe new life into its business. Specifically, the company brought the closeout retailing leader onboard to tap his sourcing talents in securing products at a price that delivers higher margins. He’s also known in the industry for his distribution, advertising, and marketing acumen.
Churches takes the office previously held by Kathleen Mason, the longtime Tuesday Morning CEO who is fighting to get her job back while she works to wrap up cancer treatment. Mason was dismissed by the board in June and filed a claim with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in August alleging she was fired after revealing that she had been diagnosed with a treatable form of breast cancer. Tuesday Morning denies the claim. In the interim, president and COO Michael Marchetti served as CEO.
In the meantime the company’s third and fourth quarter results continue to linger on the losing side. Tuesday Morning saw larger losses during the third quarter of 2012 vs. 2011 as fewer shoppers spent less per visit. Q4 was more of the same. Last month the retailer announced that higher costs during the fourth quarter have losses mounting. In 2011 the company’s net income dipped more than 10%; since 2008 sales have declined by more than 7%.
Churches is faced with the task of quickly delivering a new game plan ahead of the make-or-break holiday shopping season. He’ll also need to entice Tuesday Morning’s loyal customers to not only stick around but spend more each time they step into a store.