Brookstone Appoints Thomas M. Via as President and CEO

MERRIMACK, N.H., Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Brookstone, Inc. will appoint senior retail executive Thomas M. Via as President and CEO, and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective December 1st.  Steven H. Schwartz, who had been serving as interim CEO, will resume his role as Chief Merchandising Officer.

The announcement was made by Piau Phang Foo, Chairman of the Board of Directors, who said, "We are extremely pleased that Tom will be leading Brookstone.  We conducted a broad search and interviewed several highly qualified candidates.  We were impressed by Tom's success at rejuvenating businesses and by his broad and deep achievements as a senior executive in the retail industry. He has demonstrated success at driving innovation and growth globally.  We are also grateful to Steve Schwartz, who held the reins so capably, particularly as we enter our busiest season."

Mr. Via spent the past 12 years at Toys"R"Us, most recently as its Senior Vice President for Babies"R"Us in the U.S.,where he was responsible for providing leadership for the company's juvenile product growth strategy and served on the Global Commercial Committee.  From 2010 to 2013 he was Managing Director (President) of Toys"R"Us, Australia, where he was responsible for all operations and business activities for the company's Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us brands.  Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Toys"R"Us, Canada, where he was responsible for all Merchandising, Marketing and Store Planning activities for the Canada division. Mr. Via helped direct the expansion of the Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us integrated store format in Canada, as well as the launch of Toysrus.com.ca.  Prior to joining Toys"R"Us, Mr. Via held merchandising positions at Wal-Mart (Canada), Payless ShoeSource, Kmart, and Hills Department Stores.

Mr. Via said, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the drive for innovation and growth at Brookstone.  Very few retailers have the power of the Brookstone brand, its heritage as an innovator and product developer, plus Brookstone's unique ability to distribute creative lifestyle products through multiple channels. I have been so impressed by the organization-wide commitment to innovation and first-rate customer service. I look forward to working with our Board of Directors and management team to build on the strength of the Brookstone brand, both domestically and internationally."

About Brookstone, Inc.
Brookstone, Inc. is an innovative product development and specialty lifestyle retail company that operates approximately 240 Brookstone branded stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico. Typically located in high-traffic regional shopping malls and airports, the stores feature unique and innovative consumer products. The Company also operates a Direct Marketing business that includes the Brookstone catalog and an e-commerce website at http://www.brookstone.com.

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