Director, Merchandise Systems, Chico’s FAS
For Suzanne Toepfer, evolving how Chico’s FAS delivers the customer experience has always been a primary focus.
“Quickly moving from concept to enablement for the brands’ expansion of petites and plus-size offerings, as well as integrating a new digital storefront for our outlet consumer into our tools and process, has expanded our footprint in the market ahead of schedule,” she explains.
At Chico’s, Toepfer guides the enterprise systems responsible for merchandising, allocation and merchandise planning across stores, e-commerce and outlet channels. With the retailer for eight years, she has served as the director of merchandise systems for four, and was previously the director of business process and development.
Prior to joining Chico’s, she was director of JDA applications and replenishment at Gottschalks, where she led the implementation of planning, replenishment and allocation
from initial design to launch. Her long career has also included planning and merchandising roles at DFS Group, Footlocker
“I have always worked in fashion, so the presence of women wasn’t unusual,” Toepfer says when talking about the change in the role of women in the industry. “For me, it’s more about how things have changed in the way women present themselves in the business. It has been an evolution of how women approach collaboration and collectively work with our male counterparts towards a unified goal while doing what’s best for the organization and our customers. “
Throughout Toepfer’s illustrious career, she has learned that it is imperative to find the right tools that fit the situation. At Chico’s her team has worked diligently to maximize their technology investments in new and differentiating ways.
“Innovation is happening everywhere, not just with the big vendors,” she says. “Significant change can be driven from the small innovations sprinkled throughout the assets. It’s about continually assessing and improving the existing portfolio to meet the strategic objectives within the ever-changing retail landscape.”