- Foot Locker has appointed Himanshu Parikh SVP and CIO, the company announced Monday. He started Tuesday, reporting directly to Richard Johnson, CEO and chairman.
- Parikh comes to the athletics retailer following a nearly six-year stint at Michaels, where he most recently served as SVP and CTO. At Michaels, Parikh oversaw the company's digital transformation and the expansion of its omnichannel commerce. Prior, he spent a decade leading IT at Ross Stores.
- In his new role, Parikh will oversee the execution of Foot Locker's strategic technology agenda, according to the announcement.
This year, the retail industry turned toward technology to weather change. Businesses that stood a chance had upgraded stacks that allowed them to serve customers wherever — and however — they chose.
For Foot Locker, the trend means Parikh will need to prioritize technologies that support omnichannel strategies as consumers seek more flexibility and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) options.
Parikh will work closely with the Foot Locker's senior executive team to streamline internal processes, assessing and implementing systems and tools across the organization, according to the announcement.
The appointment of the former Michaels exec comes as the retailer saw its comparable store sales increase by 7.7% in the third quarter of 2020. The company restructured its leadership team in July in a push to "foster greater agility and speed-to-act," according to CEO Johnson. As part of the move, Foot Locker elevated executives Andy Gray, Frank Bracken and Scott Martin to serve more senior roles within the organization.
Supporting the technologies that back e-commerce is a priority across the retailer industry, with eight in every 10 consumers signaling they'll be shopping more online this holiday season than last year. In the third quarter of 2020, Foot Locker's digital business grew by more than 50%, according to Johnson, speaking during the company's earnings call.
"We are frequently asked how sustainable these digital trends are," Johnson said. "What I will tell you is that while we expect the penetration level to moderate, we don't expect to go back to pre-COVID[-19] percentages."
In the third quarter, the company dedicated resources to adding BOPIS capabilities to its native apps, and established dedicated customer pickup areas in 700 stores.