(Press Release) OMAHA, NE – The Edge Retail Academy (ERA), the Omaha-based retail jewelry consulting company, announces its expansion with the addition of Kevin Sweeney as a new business adviser and the promotions of Sherry Smith to director of business development and Becka Johnson Kibby to director of operations.
The ERA is also extending its service offerings to include a new Business Academy Program, newly enhanced vendor services and greater access for its retail clientele to all of the business advisers and specialists on the ERA team.
“We are excited to welcome Kevin to the team,” says David Brown, president of The Edge Retail Academy. “His expertise and experience spanning three decades in the jewelry industry will provide immeasurable value to our retail clientele. And the extension of our Vendor Services Program, including the new Vendor Pulse, now run by Sherry Smith, will offer terrific value and build on her already stellar work with our vendor clients. And with Becka at the helm of operations, our team and our partners are sure to succeed with ease and efficiency.”
Formerly of Hearts on Fire and Shreve, Crump & Low, Sweeney brings over 29 years of jewelry business acumen to the ERA team. His results-oriented approach led to a 20 percent sales growth in key markets for HOF and a 30 percent increase in bridal sales for SC&L in Boston. He successfully increased stock turn and helped differentiate both brands from their competitors. Sweeney’s extensive leadership, sales management and inventory optimization experience give him useful insights to offer retailers to improve their GMROI (gross margin return on investment) and to keep their sales staff motivated. His unique perspective adds real value to the ERA team and to all its clientele.
In her new role as director of business development, Smith will lead ERA’s continued expansion into the area of vendor relations. Smith brings 25 years of industry experience to the role, having served as principle partner in her own retail stores before moving to the client services side of the business with the Academy. The ERA Vendor Services Program offers a unique series of performance evaluation modules that provide vendors with a macro view of inventory performance across the jewelry market. The new Vendor Pulse metrics, along with strategy and consulting from ERA business advisers, give vendors the necessary tools to achieve increased sales and higher GMROI. Vendor Pulse offers vendors real time sell-thru data allowing them to identify their top selling styles by stock turn, units sold and average retail sale. It takes the guesswork out of inventory management and product production.
As director of operations, Kibby will continue to lead the Academy’s efforts and has facilitated greater access to all of the team’s business advisers and specialists for every new retail client who partners with ERA. Kibby has also been instrumental in enhancing key offerings that differentiate ERA from its competitors, including the highly popular free Business Opportunity Analysis, a $625 value, which highlights for retailers key areas in which they have opportunities to grow or are currently at risk. Kibby has also improved the Business Academy for 2017 with enhanced benefits for the participating retailers.
With the new team and new product offerings, the ERA team will continue its expansion as a jewelry industry leader in providing guaranteed results and performance enhancing tools for today’s competitive independent retailers.