The discount retailer names former Big Lots executive and 'Master Merchandiser' Brady Churches as new CEO
By Francis Adams
Tuesday Morning Corporation, listed TUES on the NASDAQ in its quest to find the ideal candidate to guide the company in its next stage, on Tuesday, announced the appointment of Brady Churches as new CEO. Churches has also been named on the company's Board.
The Dallas-based company's Chairman of the Board, Bruce Quinnell told RTT News that the Board was on the lookout for a 'Master Merchandiser' and Brady was the most suitable to take that position.
"Brady's track record of merchandising excellence, combined with his high-energy, entrepreneurial mindset, will serve Tuesday Morning very well," Quinnell said.
According to NASDAQ, Churches, who began his career in 1976 at Big Lots Inc., played a crucial role in transforming the company from an automotive discount retailer into a market leader in the off-price retail industry during his 20-year tenure. He also served as Big Lots president from 1993 to 1995.
Most recently, Churches, 54, was President of Columbus, Ohio-based Marketing Results, Ltd. He also served as president of Value City Department Stores' home store unit from 2002 through 2006.
Tuesday Morning had named Michael Marchetti, its executive vice president and chief operating officer, as interim CEO after removing Kathleen Mason as president and Chief Executive Officer on June 5.
Mason, who had headed the company for more than a decade, last month, filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying the company fired her after learning she had breast cancer. She is also seeking unspecified damages and her job back.
According to Business Week, "Tuesday Morning said in a statement last month that Mason's termination was lawful. It also said that the accusation was without merit and that it intends to defend itself against the claims."
The Wall Street Journal said that Mason "was removed from her job in early June after a 12-year run as Tuesday Morning's head that saw the company's stock fall nearly 60%. An activist investor, Becker Drapkin Management LP, had agitated for Ms. Mason to be replaced, and the day she was fired the company said its full-year sales and profit would be worse than expected."
Tuesday Morning is a leading retailer of upscale decorative home accessories and housewares in the United States. The company opened its first store in 1974 and, today, operates 861 stores in 43 states.
How does the company's business work? "We purchase first quality, brand name merchandise at closeout pricing and, in turn, sell it at prices significantly below those generally charged by department stores and specialty and catalog retailers. We do not sell seconds, irregulars, refurbished or factory rejects," the company says.
Tuesday Morning says that such brand name merchandise is available to discount retailers at low prices owing to various factors, "including the inability of a manufacturer to sell merchandise through regular channels, the discontinuance of merchandise due to a style or color change, the cancellation of orders placed by other retailers and the termination of business by a manufacturer or wholesaler."
The company also benefits, occasionally, when a manufacturer has excess raw material or production capacity. "Typically, closeout retailers have lower merchandise costs, capital expenditures and operating costs, which allows for the sale of merchandise at prices lower than other retailers," Tuesday Morning says.