Session Information

Tuesday, May 17th, 2:25–3:05pm

TRACK 4: Changing Consumer Preferences

Changing Consumer Needs Driving Product Innovation

Mike Edwards
CEO, eBags
Mike Edwards is an Omni Channel/B2B/Wholesale executive who has led brand transformations and business turnarounds for some of the leading names in the industry in both the fashion and hardlines categories. He was the former head of global merchandising for Staples and was responsible for the merchandising strategy and new business development, assortment planning as well as the vendor programs for the retail, online, and contract sales divisions. He also managed the global private label group and innovation teams supporting divisions in 26 countries and generating over 5B in sales.

Prior to Staples he joined Borders in September 2009 as Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Borders, Inc. and President, Borders Group, Inc. in June 2010 through 2011. Mike received many accolades for his ability to handle an extremely challenging restructuring effort by his team and vendors for his leadership and integrity.

Mike brings a demonstrated track record of success to consumer brands having served as President and CEO of lucy activewear, where he led the reinvention of the speciality retailer, taking it from just 10 stores and no e-commerce capability to over 60 stores and a successful web business. The International Council of Shopping Centers recognized Mike's leadership at lucy by naming it 2007 "Brand of the Year." Lucy was sold in August 2007 to VF Corporation. Mike was also a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the year.

Mike was part of a turnaround team that moved fabric and craft retailer Jo-Ann Stores Inc. (NYSE: JAS) from near bankruptcy to a highly profitable company with $2 billion in annual sales. During Mike's tenure at Jo-Ann, where he served for three years as Executive Vice President, Operations.

He began his career with merchandising positions at The May Department Store Company and Target Corporation.

BS from Drexel University in Philadelphia.