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Once LNT Heir Apparent, Moore Moves On

Brent Felgner -- Home Textiles Today, January 30, 2006

Clifton, N.J. — Once tagged as the potential successor to Linens 'n Things ceo Norman Axelrod, company president Jack Moore abruptly left his post days after the specialty merchant said it would meet the financing requirements for its buyout by private equity firm Apollo Management.

Moore, who was coo just 19 months, left to “pursue other interests,” the company said.

In his short tenure, Moore struggled to find trend-right merchandise for the chain and improve its overall operating performance, increase store traffic, emphasizing fashion and better price points. But the efforts resulted in “significant traffic declines … [and] a weaker value perception” by customers, Axelrod said during the company's third quarter conference call last October. On the same call, Moore said the textiles category was “very difficult. Some of our fashion-forward merchandise did not resonate with all of our guests like we had anticipated.”

Sales for the quarter slipped 3.8%, comps by 10.2% and earnings suffered.

Moore came into the job saying he wanted to see it become the “store of first choice” for consumers, injecting newness across all price points and boosting productivity. He said he was on the hunt for new brands.

When he was named to the post, Moore was given responsibility for merchandising, marketing and some logistics. But Axelrod retained direct oversight with reporting lines to store operations, human resources, information technology, strategy and administration.

Moore joined LNT after a seven-year career with Kohl's, mostly recently as its executive vp and gmm home. He also spent 19 years at Dayton-Hudson Department Stores, the remains of which are now folded into Federated.

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