FORT WAYNE, Ind., Dec. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA) ("Vera Bradley" or the "Company") today announced that industry icon Harry Cunningham will join Vera Bradley as Head of Store Development effective December 8, 2014.
Robert Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, noted, "As we continue transforming Vera Bradley into a premium global lifestyle brand, store presentation and site selection will become even more critical to our brand and to the success of our business. Harry will be charged with developing and implementing innovative visual and store merchandising design for our own stores as well as our department store partners, overseeing new store construction and remodels and working on site selection for new Vera Bradley stores."
Cunningham has nearly 25 years of experience in store design and visual merchandising. He has been with Saks Fifth Avenue since 2006 and most recently held the post of Senior Vice President of Store Planning, Design and Visual Merchandising. Prior to that, Cunningham held various visual merchandising roles of increasing responsibility with Liz Claiborne, Saks Department Store Group and Dillard's.
During his time at Saks Fifth Avenue, Cunningham was instrumental in the re-launch of the company's award-winning men's stores in Beverly Hills and Chicago and in the design of Saks' full-line department store in Sarasota, Florida, the company's first fully-reimagined store in nine years. While at Saks, he also developed the luxury retailer's award-winning fashion windows and legendary holiday displays and launched new designs for the company's signature designer and contemporary businesses. Cunningham also was responsible for developing the revolutionary store design that was instrumental in positioning the Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH brand for growth.
Cunningham has won numerous industry awards including Design: Retail Magazine's prestigious Markopoulos Award in 2014. He was also recognized by the publication as a "Retail Design Luminary" in 2012 and as a "Retail Design Influencer" in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Cunningham is also very involved in the industry, serving on the board of directors of PAVE (The Planning and Visual Education Partnership) and as a member of several advisory boards.
Vera Bradley Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations or beliefs concerning future events and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected, including: possible adverse changes in general economic conditions and their impact on consumer confidence and spending; possible inability to predict and respond in a timely manner to changes in consumer demand; possible loss of key management or design associates or inability to attract and retain the talent required for our business; possible inability to maintain and enhance our brand; possible inability to successfully implement our growth strategies or manage our growing business; possible inability to successfully open new stores as planned; adverse changes in the cost of raw materials and labor used to manufacture our products; and possible adverse effects resulting from a significant disruption in our single distribution facility. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements, please refer to "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014 and Part II, Item 1A of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended November 1, 2014. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement. Financial schedules are attached to this release.