Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks Corporation’s board of directors has elected LuAnn Via as the company’s next president and CEO, succeeding Joel Waller.
Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women’s apparel retailer, has completed its 8-month search for a successor to CEO Joel Waller. The company’s board of directors has elected LuAnn Via as the company’s president and chief executive officer and as a member of its board, effective November 26, 2012. As previously announced by the company, Waller will continue in a consulting capacity through June 30, 2013, in order to ensure a smooth transition.
“LuAnn is an exceptional choice for this position and I am confident that she will provide excellent leadership for Christopher & Banks as we continue to execute on the turnaround strategy started by Joel Waller,” says Paul Snyder, chair of the board of directors and a member of the CEO search committee. “Ms. Via’s extensive merchandise and product development experience in multiple retail channels, in addition to her strong executive and personal qualities, were key factors in the board’s decision to hire her. She brings a unique combination of merchandise experience, customer focus, drive and a passion for retail that makes her an ideal CEO to lead the company.”
From July 2008 until earlier this month, Via served as president and CEO of Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., which recently was acquired. At Payless ShoeSource, Via was responsible for approximately $2.4 billion in annual revenues at 4,000 stores in 30 countries across four continents. She also has specialty retail women’s experience, having served in several capacities at Charming Shoppes, Inc. from January 2006 to July 2008. As a group divisional president, she had overall merchandising and operational responsibility for both the Lane Bryant and Cacique brands, generating over $1 billion in annual sales and operating more than 850 stores. As president of Catherines Stores, Inc., a Charming Shoppes subsidiary, she was responsible for leading a $400 million retail operation with approximately 350 stores. She has also held merchandising and/or product development positions with Sears Holding Company, Saks, Inc., Federated Department Stores, The Shoebox/Shoe Gallery and Trade AM International, among others.
Christopher & Banks Corporation is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer of women’s clothing. As of October 29, 2012, the company operated 640 stores in 44 states consisting of 388 Christopher & Banks stores, 172 stores in their women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 55 dual stores and 25 outlet stores. For more information, visit www.ChristopherandBanks.com or www.CJBanks.com.