In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli chats with Ruth Hartman, the newly appointed president of Lord + Taylor following the purchase of the luxury department store chain by rental company Le Tote, where she served as chief merchandising officer for five years. Listen in as Hartman discusses her career journey, why her diverse experience makes her a great fit for her new role at Lord + Taylor, and her ongoing work to integrate the Lord + Taylor and Le Tote organizations. She shares some insights into the beginning plans to unify the two brands, specifically in technology and merchandise, and offers a look into her role in combining both company cultures into one future-facing organization.

In addition, Hartman discusses how she builds teams, why she likes hiring people with diverse backgrounds and great attitudes, and the importance of being entrepreneurial within a company. She shares her thoughts on how the retail industry can foster more women leaders as well as her personal and professional goals for the future.

Ruth Hartman, president of Lord + Taylor, had been with Le Tote since November 2014. She brings 20-plus years of in-depth practical operating expertise in the retail industry. Hartman has a proven track record of consistently delivering profitable growth, with responsibility for merchandising strategy, product assortment, organizational development and strategic planning. She started her career at Henri Bendel in New York before moving to San Francisco to join the merchandising team at Macy’s, where she was responsible for branded and private brand categories, including apparel, accessories, and footwear. Prior to Le Tote, Hartman spent five years at DSW, where she oversaw the women’s footwear business. While at DSW, she collaborated on omnichannel strategies and developed an overall knowledge of e-commerce. Hartman was a member of the senior leadership team at both Macy’s and DSW, and is recognized as a skilled merchant and expert problem solver who can lead and develop strong teams. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston.

Date: November 19, 2019

Credits: Ruth Hartman

Duration: 20:49