Crate & Barrel founder Segal back from retirement

Gordon Segal, the founder of Crate & Barrel, is coming out of retirement. After six years, the 75-year-old Segal will serve as a mentor to the interim CEO during the search for a new company leader.

Adrian Mitchell is acting as Crate & Barrel's interim CEO while the company looks for its fourth top executive in the company's 50-year history, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Former CEO Sascha Bopp was let go two weeks ago after two years of disappointing sales and employee discontent. Upon his exit, Segal addressed employees at the company headquarters, assuring them that the retailer would get back on track.

"We are fortunate to have the support of our founder, Gordon Segal, during this transition period," a Crate & Barrel spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He will continue to serve as an adviser and mentor as he always has. Gordon will also be involved in the executive CEO search as we renew our focus on the merchandising strengths and founding principles that continue to define our success."

Under Bopp, the usual brand collection of Northern European-inspired housewares seemed to disappear and the store became more of a broad assortment of items and styles.

In a recent walkthrough, Segal called the store's items too trendy.

For customers, the change seemed to be a miss. Sales declined slightly in 2013 to $1.38 billion. However, competitor William Sonoma's sales in the same year rose 8.5 percent to $4.39 billion.

Barbara Turf, who was part of the company for 47 years, succeeded Segal as CEO but retired in 2012 and remained on the board until her death last month.

Bopp joined the company in 2009 as COO. Under his leadership, the retailer sped up international expansion, opening stores in Mexico, Dubai, Singapore and Turkey. On the flip side, Segal had waited 33 years to even open a store in New York, saying he wanted all new locations to be staffed by seasoned employees.

For more:
-See this Chicago Sun-Times article

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