Menswear industry veteran Tom Ott will be leaving his role as the chief merchant at Saks Off 5th, a position he’s held since July 2017, following a restructure.
Having been with the company for 24 years, Ott will be leaving his position as of August 24th.
“Tom has had a meaningful impact on the business in his 24-year career with the company, from his significant leadership in men’s to his more recent role at Off 5th, we are grateful for his contributions,” said Marc Metrick, president of Saks. “At Off 5th, we continue our strategy to evolve the business to be more of a true off-price player and believe we have significant runway ahead. This new nimble structure allows us to move with the speed and agility required in the off-price segment and I feel confident in the team we have as we progress to the next stage of our strategy.”
Following Ott’s departure his role will be split between two long-term Saks employees, Christine Merrick, previously vice president and divisional merchandise manager of shoes and handbags for Off 5th, and Allison Ross, who held the position of vice president and DMM of women’s contemporary for Off 5th.
Merrick will be given the new title of senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s, kids, shoes and handbags, while Ross has been named as senior vice president and GMM of women’s, accessories, beauty and home. Both will report to Metrick.
Ott joined Saks in 1995 as a buyer of men’s designer clothing and rose up to vice president and divisional merchandise manager of men’s tailored clothing, personal furnishings, home and food, before becoming a general merchandise manager and senior vice president. He also once worked at an off-price retailer called Gentry Clothiers, serving as merchandise vice president, men’s furnishings and sportswear. He began his retailing career in 1988 as an executive trainee with Lord & Taylor.
“My time at Saks and Off 5th was magical to me,” Ott told MR. “I’ve worked with the best people, the best brands, and left with a lifetime of great memories. I’m looking forward to the next chapter putting into play all I learned from 70+ trips to Italy and over 40 Pitti Uomos.”